The COVID-19 health pandemic has heavily impacted businesses everywhere. Now the pressure to resume as normal has arrived, or, if it hasn’t yet arrived for you, it soon will. This pressure comes with many questions.
- How will business be conducted moving forward?
- How will team members safely occupy workspaces and how will they remain healthy?
Often leaders have to contemplate choices in the midst of possibly inadequate prevention or mitigation measures. This can lead those in positions of responsibility to act reactively instead of proactively.
Yet, as the economic necessity to resume normal operations applies ever-increasing pressure, there are a number of proactive opportunities embedded within coming decisions. You can seize upon these opportunities and use them to the advantage of your business.
The Advantages of a Remote Workplace
The new environment has, intentionally or unintentionally, built a capacity within most businesses for working remotely. This capacity didn’t exist prior to the pandemic.
Consider taking time to look carefully and reflect on the lessons learned over the COVID-19 crisis. Which emerging operational advantages are worth holding onto? Allowing team members to work remotely, even if for only one or two days a week, saves them the time and expense of a daily commute. It also acts as a powerful team member retention tool, especially considering the effects of The Great Resignation, in which more workers than ever before are searching for remote positions.
Allowing for remote work also gives businesses a chance to save on operating costs. If the entire office works on a viral platform one day per week, that choice has the potential to save as much as 20% on utilities each month. You’re likely aware that figuring out a way to save 20% on any facet of your business is a daunting challenge.
After the Break: A Culture Reset
This prolonged disruption of the normal operations of office culture provides another very real opportunity. The chance to begin again can mean recreating or reinforcing values or operating culture.
In the ongoing, seemingly ceaseless journey from week to week, it can be difficult for leaders to find a natural point in which to intervene and inject possessive and supportive aspects of culture. Now, with all the changes that have sprouted from the COVID-19 crisis and The Great Resignation, you have an opportunity to take on this challenge and address any lingering areas of dysfunction.
Bringing positive changes to the team culture is a brave and powerful move. It challenges unproductive beliefs and practices, some of which might have been long-held. It sends a message to your team members that your emphasis on values and culture is more than merely lip service.
When your values and actions align, your team’s respect and esteem tend to increase measurably.
Examination of the System
This isn’t something you have to do alone. Starting again comes with an opportunity to include your team members in the examination of existing systems. When you rework existing processes and protocols with the direct participation of those who operate within the system, it sends a strong leadership message. Clearly present the process as one where improvement and efficiency are the goals. This will be most resonant with team members when they can see their authentic input in the end design.
In the past, examining support systems might have seemed insignificant or resided much further down on your task list. Doing it now sends a clear message to your team that you’re paying attention to the details. Soliciting input creates an environment where everyone is invested in the eventual outcome.
A Matter of Perspective
Yes, the challenges posed by the COVID-19 crisis have been enormous. There’s no overstating that fact. But, even in the face of these demands, there are opportunities for alignment and improvement. To be an effective leader, you must search for the openings this crisis has provided and leverage them for the betterment of your team members and your business as a whole.
Get ready for a whole new world of leadership possibilities with FiredUp! Culture. We’d love to talk.
Tim, with his extensive background in education and management, is a great part of our Fired Up! team dedicated to inspiring teams and leaders. At Fired Up!, our work is dedicated to harnessing the power of culture to equip leaders, build amazing teams, and align operation practices to engage organizations and drive breakthrough results.