COVID & 2021

In 2020, COVID-19 affected most businesses, many for the worst.  As leaders and business owners, we cannot be COVID deniers.
We need to lead from the front.  COVID challenges are set to continue into 2021 and beyond.
Everyone talks about a new normal?  But what does that actually mean?
For us, the only NEW NORMAL as leaders you can have is one of dealing with crisis.  Economies are set to downturn, and we cannot keep up what we have been doing.  At the moment, people are pretending there is a new normal, but until we all make fundamental shifts, we are still playing the pretending game and that will catch your business out. We now need to continually transform ourselves, our capabilities and our business.
So it incumbent on every leader and business owner to become highly adaptive leaders.  This is no easy task and I’ll talk more about this in some videos.
For now, as we face potentially more lockdowns, you NEED TO PREPARE YOU BUSINESS AND TEAMS NOW!
I’d suggest you answer the following questions and ensure you have a plan to execute in an instant and everyone knows what it is, what you require them to do, how and when.

  • How will employees work? You need to ensure a proper policy. If people are working from home that is their worksite and therefore you are 100% responsible for their WHS.  Numerous cases have started popping up in Tribunal, so don’t incur most costs for your business.  Get proactive now.  You need a clear policy and you need to do an at-home risk assessment.  We offer a checklist for you to use to ensure you meet your obligations. We can also help you develop policy and WHS plan for the risk assessment outcomes. If you require employees to attend the workplace, how will you ensure COVID safety?  You need to have a permanent solution that you can implement at any time.
  • How will you manage performance? Traditional performance management systems are out. They have been for a while, but many businesses have not yet caught up. Every business needs to implement an AGILE PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT approach.
  • How will you engage and motivate the team? Again, old rules about engagement need transforming. Each leader must master Agile management and continual engagement and feedback. To do this, every leader needs to master change leadership skills.  Stay tuned for a mini-series on this.
  • How will you continue to delight and serve your customers? By now you should have a permanent solution in place that ensures your customer journey can be achieved in multiple ways. This means agile processes and policies that empower employers to drive high customer satisfaction.
  • What are all the What-if scenarios and risk mitigation plans? As I always say, plan for the worst, hope for the best! Make sure you have mitigated all potential disruptions to business, customers, technology and employees. Get everyone in the business involved.
  • Who is the Crisis Leader? Who takes control when what-if scenarios eventuate, what is their support, their empowerment and their boundaries? How skilled are they? One person should lead in a crisis and it should be the most skilled and best leader you have! NOW is the time to upskill all leaders!
  • What is your employee wellness plan? How do you support employees? We have done some fantastic work with our clients delivering highly practical wellness programs that have reduced stress and anxiety and increased productivity and creativity increase.
  • How do you assess your business and risk? What plans do you have? What data do you use? What measurements? How are people expected to do processes etc? All of these needs reviewing, to create an agile approach to your business.

At a deeper level, you should also get clear on the following if you haven’t done so. This will help you, your leaders, and your employees navigate the future.

  • What is your business purpose and vision? Have you incorporated future crisis possibilities, so that everyone has a really clear and crisp picture for the future? Your purpose should sustain your business regardless of what happens. Purpose is about passion, not what you do. If you say yes to these question, I would offer you this challenge…  Ask each employee what is our purpose and what is the business vision as you see it. Often, employees cannot articulate it.  If they can’t then you have not done a good enough job in engagement.
  • What are your business values? One of the key factors that separate ordinary leaders from extraordinary ones is that they have a set of values that they actually live, that drives every business decision and guides business behaviour. Values are not key phrases, they are how the business behaves. I’d suggest you do an assessment of how your leaders lived the business values in 2020. You may be surprised by what your employees say.
  • How do you want to be defined as a leader? If you do not do this for yourself, others will. One wonders… did Donald Trump choose how we wanted to be perceived or is he simply living in his ego-based programs? A true leader seeks to be the best leader they can be.
  • How do you want your employees to talk about how your business navigated change? In my 30 years of change management, I really hear great change stories when I start working with a business. In fact, it is so rare, I can’t think of one at the minute. Knowing how to lead change management and be a great change leader is what makes change work! Remember, change means stress and anxiety, crisis amplifies this. People then get into fear and find it difficult to see positives.  Your role as a change leader is to facilitate the process to reduce stress, anxiety and fear and increase optimism, future-focus and creativity.

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