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During times of uncertainty and amid a global crisis, effective management and strong leadership become all the more important. This is not only true from a national perspective, whereby individuals and companies await direction from Governments around the world, but also in our own day-to-day lives and, importantly, in the world of work.
As a manager, your team will be looking to you for guidance and instruction on how to navigate the current crisis - whatever that might be. Determining how you move forward and the support you provide will depend on a few fundamental points.
Key questions to help determine your management style:
What do you stand for above all else during this time?
How do you want to be remembered for your management?
What are the values that you want to be the driving force behind your plan of action?
Key questions to help identify the additional support you will need to provide and determining what you will need to do differently:
What do my colleagues and teams need from me right now?
What does your team need to succeed in a crisis?
What can be done now to benefit your people and organisation in the long run?
These are questions you should not only be considering yourself, but actively asking your teams for their insights.
While there have been major changes in both our working and personal lives, it is important to remember that these are temporary challenges we must face. Staying connected to your longer-term vision throughout this will be key. Consider the opportunities of this situation, perhaps the radical changes being put in place will facilitate better flexibility for your team longer-term.
Health and safety are paramount. Ongoing support and empathy for the challenges that your employees are facing currently are critical. Be sure business comms promote that wherever and however possible, the company will support individuals through this time. Wellbeing is the priority, be sure that your people know that this is a genuine commitment from the top.
Following on from this, be sure you are planning for sustainability. While temporary, this situation could extend for a significant period of time. Be sure you are not burning yourself or your teams out. Response plans may have been demanding and reactive workloads may have placed added strains on your teams, but consider the feasibility of keeping this pace for months and take steps to reduce the added stresses where possible.
Do not forget that your own health and safety are key. If you are not properly managing your wellbeing, you will not be able to give your best to your teams and properly lead them during this time.
When working from home full time and under added stresses as a result of challenging markets, self-care is absolutely essential, both for your physical and mental health. They might seem like basic principles, but it really is important to prioritise exercise, sleep, healthy eating, and getting outside.
Build a support system of people you work with and in your personal life. You are not in this alone and your colleagues will be experiencing similar pressures to you, so be sure to stay in regular contact, even if it is just to discuss different strategies for managing a new work from home balance. When you need to, lean on others. What do you need from your team to ensure you are working effectively? Do not forget to ask for support if you require it. On this point, keep in contact with friends and family to help you stay connected with your life outside of work.
When a national crisis arises, support and compassion should guide all interactions we are having with others. No one is at their best when feeling stressed or anxious, which is why it is important that we are ensuring we support one another wherever possible.
For more great insights into managing your teams, check out our insightful on-demand webinar on how to develop and manage your team in a post-lockdown world.