How do we achieve productivity during this pandemic crisis?

This is the critical question that leaders are grappling with as we come to grips with home working at a time of isolation and confinement. I am not claiming to have any magic answers, but here are my top three tips for over-stretched leaders:

1. Keep people on track

One-to-one and group conversations to reassess goals and priorities is key. Don’t take it for granted that people know what they are supposed to be doing or, are clear about priorities. Everything feels different and uncertain and indeed is likely to be different as everyone reassesses their needs.

Short-term goals are especially helpful – always set within the big picture so people can see how they contribute. Short-term goals have a motivational effect as they give people clear and tangible aims. Don’t forget to give recognition for achievement.

2. Keep people motivated

Set a vision for your team, or your business that will inspire people to give of their best. Reassess your values too. What sort of a leader do you want to be during this time of crisis? What do you want people to say about you? What do you want people to say about your team, or your company during this time? Which behaviours are the most important between colleagues, with your customers and suppliers? Communicate all this widely. Remember also to be respectful of people’s time and the pressures they are under; for example, set certain times of the day – such as lunchtime, or after a certain time in the evening when no one must feel obliged to be on email, or social media.

3. Keep people together

Team spirit, company identify, collaborative working. These are all important at this time. Fortunately, you can leave a lot of this to your people to craft together. There are many apps such as House Party, Slack, and others they can use for virtual get togethers. As leader, you just need to make sure it is happening and that you encourage it. Being social, helps collaborative working. Play your part too by participating – as appropriate – and also make sure you hold regular ‘team meetings.’ Short catch up meetings at the beginning and the end of each day are generally effective.

360-degree feedback programmes are great for helping leaders reposition their skills and understand their strengths and impact on others. Contact us about our 360 programme.

Janice Caplan

© Janice Caplan 2020