The way individuals and organisations function has changed in a matter of months, leaving business leaders to speculate about the actions needed in order to succeed in this new world of work. While many organisations never actually stopped working, the old ‘normal’ ceased to exist; and though it may be impossible to predict exactly what the ‘new normal’ will look like, there is a unanimous agreement that companies won’t be able to simply return to “business as usual”.
Employees are likely to be reluctant to return to the office, recruiting new talent will prove challenging and key business functions might need to be updated. In response to this, Right Management has launched a new solution to help businesses restart in a smart way and achieve operational fluidity and organisational success.
The three key elements for a successful restart
The SmartRestart programme has been designed specifically to provide leaders with the tools and capabilities needed to effectively manage their workforce upon returning to work. Through our research we’ve identified three key actions that managers and leaders need to take in order to lay the foundations for business success.
With at least 45% of surveyed businesses reporting short-term lay-offs as a result of Covid-19, it’s clear that leaders and managers must use their organisational restart as an opportunity to reflect. Dedicating time and energy to looking back at the actions taken leading up to and during the crisis can help leaders identify what worked and what was missed. On top of this, inviting input from employees at all levels will gather vital information around how the business can generate buy-in and high performance levels from their workforce.
“I think organisations need to spend time and energy understanding the collective emotional state of their business.” – David Duffy, General Manager, Right Management UK
By encouraging company-wide reflection, managers and leaders can gain invaluable insight into the emotions and thoughts of the wider population. This information can then be aligned with the future growth plan of the business, and used to improve the chances of organisational effectiveness and success in the future.
Being away from the office environment for such a lengthy period of time may have resulted in some employees feeling disconnected from their organisation. Managers and leaders must therefore provide their workforce with clear direction on new assignments and priorities, whilst also offering help to colleagues as they begin balancing their work and home lives.
“The prospect of return carries with it a need to weigh up the potential safety risks to ourselves and family.” – mentalhealth.org.uk
By offering clear communication to employees regarding the organisational direction and expectations, managers can ensure that everyone understands their purpose and feels comfortable returning to the office. As a result, leaders can both support their people in balancing their home and professional lives, and help them reconnect with the values of the organisation. This will ensure a high level of job-satisfaction in a workforce that remains committed to contributing towards business performance.
Managers and leaders will need to address individuals’ and teams’ emotional experiences, while simultaneously reengaging them for performance. Research shows that employees no longer want a boss, but a coach who can support their development. In order to reengage their delegates, leaders will need to maintain transparency through frequent communication and employ empathy whenever possible.
“Empathetic leaders get good effectiveness ratings, compassionate leaders get even higher effectiveness rating because they’re turning their empathy into action that’s meaningful.” – Tricia Naddaff, President, Management Research Group
Consequently, individuals and teams will appreciate that their voices are being heard and listened to. This will contribute to a level of trust being built between colleagues and leaders that will help ensure all employees feel both loyal to the business, and motivated to perform at their best; enabling the business to remain competitive within the market and continue generating revenue.
What else can leaders and organisations do to ensure a successful restart?
Leaders and managers will be critical in ensuring that their organisations succeed post-crisis. For more information on Right Management’s new SmartRestart solution, watch our free webinar here.