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Future focus is also a must right now!

$^&?!$^& Covid!

Isn’t this what most owners, managers and team members are feeling? It is extremely stressful for some, inconvenient for others, an irritant all round and just a complete drag for everyone.

As a nation it feels like we are all just well over it. Workplaces certainly are. And, without doubt, there will be a lot more patience required and a lot more sacrifices to be made as this Delta outbreak is contained, so that everyone can go about their business in a safe way.

This feels like the current reality and teams and individual team members in organisations are miffed. We understand that.

As a Leader and a Manager one of the key questions to answer at this time is:

What can I do right now to both look after and keep my team members motivated so that we are ready to take on the world both now and in the future?

The huge challenge is to steer your team through what is naturally a low point, to maintain morale with short-term customised solutions, and to prepare them both psychologically and practically to be ready to enthusiastically take on whatever is needed to be done.

You need a team firing on all cylinders to achieve that – they can’t be just dragging themselves around the park because that doesn’t help either now or going forward. It will take too long for them to get up into a go forward position, and having a workforce ready, willing and able to hit the ground running is what is required.,

Some pointers:

  • As a Manager stay positive and lead from the front at all times. Look after yourself and exercise, rest and reflect
  • Deal with and solve the everyday business practicalities of lock-down calmly and with focus
  • Claim the financial assistance you legitimately can
  • Pay special attention to your team, care for them and communicate frequently with them about both their own personal welfare and the opportunities that will arise going forward
  • Lay out your approach to both worst and best-case business scenarios and try and address any feelings of insecurity in your team. Open and honest communication helps.
  • Make plans beyond the immediate. Once you feel you have done all that you can to address the immediate issues, look forward and focus on some medium and longer-term goals, and involve your team in discussions around them. This lets them know that there is light at the end of the tunnel and also acts as a distraction from the current natural heaviness of a lock-down
  • Investigate Virtual seminars for your managers. Learning is a strong motivator and will help them be future focused.
  • Encourage daily catchups
  • Looking ahead, investigate and start the planning with your teams for:
    • Person to person management training & development
    • Succession Planning
    • Culture development/Values review
    • Performance Appraisal process review
    • An HR systems review
    • A comprehensive Wellness program introduction

The overall message is that within the constraints that lockdown brings, it’s critical for both your business’s health and the wellbeing of your team to still try and continue BAU, keeping an eye on the future as much as possible.

This approach normalises life for your team, keeps them moving and focused, and opens up a path forward. It gives them hope and reassurance that life will return to close to normal in the future. It  can bring the enthusiasm for the business and motivation back to life.