The world has had no choice but to adapt to a new normal, but how we adjust to those realities is up to us. Many companies are mandated to operate remotely, find new ways to cut costs and restructure entire organizations to survive these difficult times. Decision-makers must now find answers to questions they never expected to have to answer. How is their workforce adapting to these changes? How do they interpret company and industry-wide changes? And, as a leader, how can they communicate these changes to their team effectively?
There are very few, if any, companies who haven’t had to make difficult decisions to adapt their business to the new circumstances. Even in the most ordinary cases, it can be difficult for a leadership team to properly frame difficult news to the broader organization, not to incite panic or demotivate the personnel that is left. Typically, companies host town halls, small group leadership huddles, team-building exercises, and other activities to make sure their organization stays strong and navigates turbulent times.
However, this isn’t easy to do while maintaining the same dynamic when a team is remote. Despite this, the need for increased connectivity has never been more critical for your team to feel supported during these difficult times.
This means now is the time for leaders to get creative.
By putting in the extra time and effort to communicate with their team, they will be able to keep the company dynamic intact while bolstering morale and confidence. While setting up time with the entire group is an essential first step to answer questions or destress from the week, communicating with your team goes beyond a group Zoom call.
Leaders need to focus on the top-down and, at the same time, implement a grassroots campaign to manage employee sentiment. They need to be upfront, honest, and over-communicating with their leadership team while ensuring that they drive home their trust and commitment to those individuals. At the same time, senior leaders must go down the hierarchy and communicate with colleagues well below their direct reports. It would make a huge difference to hear from a VP or the C-suite directly for an employee working from home, worrying about the future of their role and the health of their company. It creates a sense of security, knowing that the senior execs took the time to explain, listen, and field questions. It’s about creating that sense of belonging for all members of the team.
Now more than ever, senior leaders need their teams united, focused, and motivated. In a post-pandemic environment, employee sentiment will be crucial for future success in a new market landscape. As an executive, do whatever it takes to create that feeling across all layers of the organization.