How to emerge from COVID with your culture strengthened?

Reading time: 2 mins 50s

Covid-19 has changed our way of work. The ‘Zoom-i-fication of Society’ as some are calling it is permanent.

Two or three-day office work weeks are rapidly becoming the norm.

Some of my clients say they will only return to the office in March 2022. That’s a long way away. What we hoped would be a sprint now turns out to be a triathlon.

So, in this hybrid world of work …

  • How do you build winning, happy, motivated teams … and sustain performance for the long haul?

This is the Management Challenge of our time

To emerge from Covid with the spirit of your organisation alive and well. With the culture and performance of your business strengthened, not depleted.

It’s a big ask.

How you rise to the challenge will define your success this year.

Here are a few practical thoughts on how to do so with the team you lead.

  • A. Purpose

    • Everyone is experiencing challenges right now. Don’t assume that people feel the same way about their work as before.
    • Anticipate this. Talk about the purpose of your team. Much more than normal. Discuss the relevance and impact of your work on others. Remind people why your team is important.
    • Make it personal. Remind team members why what they do matters and to whom.
  • B. Focus

    • Create hyper-focus. This means your team goals are clear, simple, and ambitious. 7, 8 or 10 goals are too many. Concentrate your team’s energy on doing a few things really well.
    • Break big goals down into smaller ones. Radically re-prioritise work and consider which goals should not be worked on at all!
    • Keep your team in the loop on decisions being made in the wider business. It’s the unknown that unsettles people. Make time for discussion, so people can process what these decisions mean to them.
  • C. Recognition

    • Ensure people are seen and heard. This is a basic human need – amplified by isolation and remote work. People want to be known and valued for who they are. Not treated like machines.
    • Celebrate small wins … for goals achieved and for conduct that reinforces your culture. Recognise people who help others. Ensure you too are a positive inspiration to the people around you.
    • Make sure team members know what a good day means to them. Help them to develop a simple set of criteria so they know for themselves … and not because you tell them.
  • D. Care

    • Give your attention. Access to you is important. Be mindful of your own busyness. Trust is built on empathy and authenticity. If you’re unavailable, distracted (or absent emotionally) trust is compromised.
    • Burnout is real. Be vigilant because it’s on the rise. (See Beyond Burned Out, a must-read article). Feeling overwhelmed, drained, and unable to meet constant demands are clear signs. Be an expert in recognising burnout and intervene early.
    • Know what flexibility means to team members … and build flexibility into your team’s way of work. Develop a system together that promotes healthy habits, fosters creativity, and delivers performance.
  • E. Meetings

    • Decide which meetings must happen in-person. Get commitment to be at the office for these. Make these meetings valuable. Don’t use them for routine work that could be done virtually. Use these meetings to give people a reason to come to the office.
    • Keep your weekly 1:1’s consistent. This gives structure and stability. Remember to ask your 2 guiding questions; “What are your priorities this week?” “How can I help you?”
    • Consider only starting meetings at 9.00 a.m. With all meetings finished by 4 p.m. Take the bold step and make 1 day a week a meeting-free day.

I encourage you to start working in all of these 5 areas. To get active.

The world of work has changed forever. The forces driving this are out of our control.

What we can control is our response.

The best managers are already hard at work … determined to not miss the opportunity presented by this time of disruption and change!

Please comment below: What are you doing to sustain performance for the long haul? To emerge from COVID with the spirit of your organisation alive and well?

If you want to get your top team fired up in the new year, contact me to find out how:

Leave A Comment

The LeadershipWorks Blog

Do you want to build a healthy organisation? Do you want to make teamwork your ultimate source of competitive advantage?

Latest Posts