Will you be ready to ‘bounce’ back?
Dependent on whether you are in one of those countries that initially approached covid-19 in a disciplined way or a somewhat loose way, you will be looking forward to a quicker or slower return to something like normality. I do not believe life will be very different to the one we knew before (even though many may disagree) but I do believe we will be in a more competitive environment than we’ve ever known. The temptation for companies to drive sales more aggressively than ever will be high, and the consequential erosion of the value chain could be worse than the situational impact of the crisis in the first place. There will be a test of leadership like never before, with the ultimate winners being those that were most ready to bounce back in a balanced and controlled way.
Psychological research shows us that employees are less tolerant during crisis situations and their focus simplifies to ensure basic needs are met for themselves and their families. They therefore judge harshly those employers that treat them, in their eyes, unfairly. These feelings of abuse stay with the employee longer than normally. Conversely those employers who put employees first during crisis situations are rewarded later with greater loyalty, engagement and respect (Brockner, Davy & Carter, 1985, Brockner, DeWitt, Grover, & Reed, 1990, Brockner, Grover, Reed, DeWitt, & O’Malley, 1987).
It is vital for leaders to stay fully aware of their employees’ feelings and consequently their readiness to perform when normality returns. As crisis situations move from ‘shock’ to ‘denial’ to ‘frustration’ to ‘acceptance’ the needs of employees also evolve from basic security and care to higher level needs such as confidence in the future
Many leaders are having to look at overheads and savings. Many are applying a blunt instrument to this activity and working to a % target. The way this is done and the impact on your employees will be significant and I mean the ones that stay not only the ones that leave. Your employees hear and feel the approach, they sense the prioritisation of people and profits and they judge you accordingly. Your communication, the way you make decisions and manage tasks will be scrutinised according to the empathy you show, the clarity you provide, the confidence you build and the balance you achieve.
With this in mind we are offering a free of charge diagnostic that will shine a light on all of these areas and guide you to some changes in approach that will ensure you are ready to bounce back when your chance comes.
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