The Changing Face of Leadership - Employee Engagement is Still #1 Priority
We’ve hit the one-year anniversary of the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rapid adjustments that all organizations have had to make around the globe.
At times, leaders felt helpless to guide their organizations through the uncertainty. What enabled most to thrive in difficult times was the engagement level of employees who continued to show up and do the work.
In a new workforce survey, HRD Connect indicated 74% of leaders, “rated their current ability to engage their workforces as effective.” Nearly 20% said they “engaged with their remote workforce daily.”
It’s clear that the more time focused on staying connected with employees, the better the outcome. In today’s world and at least for the foreseeable future this includes a high number of remote employees.
Impact on Leadership
With the above factors present, the management role is evolving. No longer viewed as just overseers of processes, managers are doing whatever it takes to keep employees productive and happy.
Mark Nevins, author and Forbes contributor, advises managers, “There’s no “playbook” for leadership when the stakes are high, and there’s certainly no playbook for what to do in the face of a 21st Century pandemic. We are all facing threats on multiple fronts at once: to self, family, employees, customers, suppliers and business partners, governmental and financial systems, and potentially our social fabric.”
With this stated, it’s up to managers to learn as much as they can about effective leadership in times of crisis.
They must turn their attention to protecting and coaching their teams through tough situations. This can often mean getting down in the trenches for a while, but it also requires using technology to monitor employee feedback and concerns. This data can be used to make decisions and react appropriately when needed.
Leadership has to be better at communicating to employees, but avoid micromanaging. Employees who are working remotely and even those essential employees coming into the workplace are better performers when they are treated respectfully.
Impact on Culture
Corporate cultures have been surprisingly left intact during the pandemic -- due to management taking an active role in keeping things positive for employees.
According to a CHG Healthcare survey of more than 800 US workers, 33% felt that “managers are most responsible for cultivating a successful culture”. The data also revealed, “Despite workplace disruption and emotional distress, company cultures weren’t impacted as much as some might have thought, with 54% saying their culture remained the same and 20% saying that the culture actually improved.”
The most important factors that created positive cultures included increased transparency and better leadership support.
Gathering feedback from employees by way of real-time employee engagement software can help management keep a sharp eye on how they are doing towards fostering a positive culture. It’s a measure of their success as leaders.
In these unpredictable times, having this insight is critical to being the best leader one can be, while supporting the future of the organization.
Thymometrics provides tools that improve employee engagement and anonymous communication channels to help people feel connected when working remotely. Our feedback solutions provide revolutionary yet simple tools to empower employees and monitor wellbeing whilst providing managers with insights to improve business culture, productivity and profitability.
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