As we keep moving closer and closer to defining what our teams and organizations will look like in a post-pandemic world, many leaders are fine tuning their models. Speaking with leaders these past few weeks, different approaches are being evaluated to restarting their organizations. Some of the important factors that have come up to consider include: the geographical areas they reside; the culture within their companies; the nature of the work they do and even the demographics of their workforce.
As many of us are realizing, leading forward means possibly rejiggering what many institutions looked like prior to March of 2020. Although there will be new routines and schedules, many things will remain the same. However, before figuring out the new configurations, leaders may want to embrace these mantras to guide them forward.
Four leadership mantras to help leaders move towards a post-pandemic world:
1. Don’t Let The Past Drive The Future
It can sometimes seem that our past may hold important insights into our future but at this juncture in time we may not want to lead with that. Of course there will be certain parts of our past organizational structure and processes that still make sense, just try to put on a futuristic hat. What does that mean? When comments came up in our team meetings about the success of following certain strategies because they worked in the past, one leader jumped in to remind us to let go. What made us successful before will not necessarily make us successful today. Challenge team members to think beyond the current boundaries. It will be well worth the effort.
2. Design Goals That Align With Your Vision
This mantra is so important to move in the best new post-pandemic direction. Remember a team or organization’s vision might have changed this past year and a half. Living by this mantra may include:
- Redefining and clarifying your “why” or purpose.
- Developing goals that are SMART and reflect the new vision.
- Writing out steps or objectives with timeframes to achieve the new goals.
- Plastering the new vision up all around your website and physical workspace.
3. Include The Team Members On Decisions
For teams and organizations to be successful in the post-pandemic work world, leaders cannot make all the decisions in a vacuum. Without the input and suggestions from team members there is a higher probability of failure. I truly mean this. To restructure what an organization wants to look like moving forward, it can be so impactful to reach out to the team members. Through surveys and verbally posing questions, take the time to ask others how they are feeling about returning to work, things learned during this time with remote work and what they might change to be more comfortable and productive. When leaders are inclusive with their decision-making there will likely be more commitment and accountability.
4. There’s No Such Thing As Too Much Communication
A fourth mantra that is critical for a leader to forge ahead is communicating all the changes and new procedures for all of the organization many times. There is no such thing as over communicating. Not only must a message be shared often but in different ways and in different places. Some simple communication strategies to sharing your post-pandemic changes may be:
- Choose alternative wording in your messaging to accommodate different demographics.
- Conduct a town hall meeting that is upbeat and exciting to roll-out the new workplace norms. Leave room for Q & A.
- Validate suggestions that team members may share and include in the communication.
- Make sure to post the communications in different places that team members may go.
- Share the new organization’s vision and goals often.
What other leadership mantras will you use to create the best post-pandemic workplace?