Leaders VS The Pandemic – How To Be A Successful Leader Through Any Disaster
How have you adapted to the pandemic as a leader? Here’s my top tips on how to be a successful leader in the middle of a pandemic.
It’s the question currently on every leader’s lips. How best can we lead through the COVID-19 pandemic? Are we leading our team through this crisis effectively? Is there anything more we could be doing? Have we lost our way or business purpose? How can we lead with courage and confidence when the world seems to be collapsing around us? Yes, being a leader and making the tough decisions isn’t easy. But I don’t believe that it should be an easy job. Being a leader is rife with challenges, especially during situations like the pandemic, however it has the ability to help you push yourself to your limits so you can be the best leader you can be. Both for yourself and the members of your team.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how employees view employers, how we view our country’s leaders and how team members see their leaders. Employees are becoming less tolerant when it comes to workplace bullying, toxic workplace environments and bad employers. It seems that the pandemic has unlocked a doorway into a new way of leading, with kindness and courage. This pandemic has caused many people to question what they are doing and want from life, especially in terms of jobs and careers. If an employee isn’t happy at their job, they will leave without a second thought and you’ll have to dive back into the recruitment pool.
During these times, I am finding that more and more employees are wanting to work alongside employers and leaders who lead with empathy and compassion, two traits which I have always felt are vital to being a great leader. People appreciate leaders who take care of their team members, employees, students and family, especially during a time of crisis. This is why it’s essential that leaders reframe or reshape their methods when it comes to employees.
In saying that, this is why I found today’s News.com.au article “New survey reveals how many Australians plan to quit their jobs this year” to be very interesting. According to a survey by ELMO Software, whose poll data is weighted to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics, major changes could be coming for Australian workers this year. The survey found that:
· 31 per cent of workers plan to quit their current job this year.
· Almost a fifth say this will do so without having another job lined up.
· 69 per cent of workers were concerned about being back face-to-face with colleagues due to new Covid variants.
· Some 76 per cent of workers support employers mandating employees be vaccinated against Covid after Omicron’s arrival, up from 70 per cent in mid-2021.
· More workers reported they are uncomfortable working alongside unvaccinated colleagues with 67 per cent voicing their concerns, up from 58 per cent last year.
These survey results from ELMO Software shows that leaders have to change it up in order to attract and retain skilled and experienced employees. This pandemic has provided leaders with ample opportunities to ‘up’ their game and lead by example, as well as accept change. Below I have complied a list of suggestions for leaders to follow if they want to lead with success during the pandemic and uncertainty.
1. Employees are human too
Great leaders see their team members as people with real feelings and emotions, not as money makers. If you are to lead successfully through the pandemic you need all hands-on deck, you need to treat your team members with kindness and compassion so that you have a productive, positive and happy team behind you. Unity is paramount, especially in times like these. Get to know your team members more, would they benefit from working part-time at home, do they do better work with deadlines, are they enjoying the work and is the work environment a positive one for them?
Having to steer through a pandemic probably wasn’t on your to-do list two years ago and honestly this pandemic has been challenging for everyone, whether you’re a world leader or a small business owner. Everyone has been impacted one way or another. You may be feeling that you have lost your way or lost your purpose. Sitting down and mapping out your purpose, goals and mission will help you to implement the strategies you need to get through this pandemic.
Say it with me! Communication is key! And again, communication is key! Being a leader who communicates well is essential in any business or workplace, from letting team members know what you need from them this week to being transparent about what’s happening in the company. Frequent, clear and concise communication is also crucial for the mental health of your team members, as well as helping your business to function on a daily basis.
The pandemic has brought the topic of empathy to the forefront and I’m glad it has because having empathy as a leader is vital to building good employee relationships, attracting a larger pool of talent, creating positive workplaces and empowering employees to do their best work. We all need a bit more kindness and empathy in our daily lives, not only that but we need to show kindness to those around us, whether they be family, retail workers colleagues or team members.
Tell me below the ways you have adapted to the pandemic as a leader. What challenges have you had to face as a leader during the pandemic? How have you solved them? What are some of the positive outcomes?
By Sonia McDonald
Founder and Managing Director of Leadership HQ and McDonald Inc. Leadership coach, entrepreneur, CEO and author.
Sonia McDonald is changing the face of leadership across the globe. She believes we should lead with kindness and courage, from the heart, and is known for her mantra ‘Just Lead’. She leads by example in all these areas and through her transformational coaching, leadership training programs and cultural transformation for organisations and encourages others to do the same. Sonia has helped thousands of people on their leadership journey to become the best version of themselves and in turn, inspire and bring out the best in others.
Sonia is a founder and CEO of McDonald Inc., LeadershipHQ and Global Outstanding Leadership Awards and the newly launched Courage Conference. For more than 25 years, Sonia has been on the front lines of leadership and she is beyond committed to her mission around building a world of great leaders.
She has held leadership positions worldwide and through experience, research and study come to realise what it takes to be a truly great leader. She has been recognised by Richtopia as One of the Top 250 Influential Women across the Globe and Top 100 Australian Entrepreneurs.
Sonia has an ability to speak bravely and authentically about her own development as a leader, personal and career challenges in a way which resonates with her audience. She is a leading coach, an award-winning published author of newly released First Comes Courage, Leadership Attitude and Just Rock It! and has become an in-demand keynote speaker on leadership, kindness and courage.
Sonia has become recognised for her commentary around the topic of leadership, kindness, empathy and courage as well as building outstanding leadership across the Globe.