Let’s be honest, if you’re managing a team or leading one during the pandemic probably never crossed your mind.
While today’s crisis is a novel one, business leaders are no strangers to workplace problems. Take the 2008 Great Recession for instance. Those leading small businesses had to either lay off their staff or close up shop amid the financial crisis.
Successful leaders, however, ought to be influential, courageous, effective communicators, focused, and visionary to lead a productive team. But do they also need to be flexible? Keep reading to find why leaders need to be flexible with their teams.
Liz Hilton, a managing partner at McKinsey, expressed the importance of flexibility and compassion towards employees during an in-house interview. She recalled when her son was six and had requested her to pick him up from school. Back then, flexible work policies were not popular. Luckily, she made an arrangement between 2007 and 2012 that allowed her to be present in her child’s life. Today, with the ongoing COVID crisis, she stresses the importance of considering her team’s wellbeing and
“seeking continuous feedback” to assimilate into the company culture moving forward.
For leaders, adapting to a crisis is necessary because their teams depend on them for solutions. Also, in some dire situations, it is flexible leadership that results in business recovery. Due to the current pandemic, some companies have had to lay off their staff, compelling the ones left to take on more responsibility. With flexible employees, you don’t need to worry about employee morale or productivity. On the contrary, this uncertainty will boost creativity.
After several months of remote work, some companies are considering reopening their businesses. But with the gains of remote work, business leaders must be willing to adopt flexible work schedules. A recent study found that, while employees were up for going back to work, they were opposed to the idea of abandoning remote work entirely.
For many managers, this presents an opportunity to adopt a hybrid work model that blends remote and physical work settings. Such flexible work environments have the following benefits:
But remember, every organization is different and has its unique way of operating. So, before you consider switching to flexible work settings, what should you take into account?
Aside from a team’s needs, a savvy manager should evaluate the definable benefits of flexible work schedules and weigh the perks against the impact of flexible work arrangements. These elements include critical factors like collaboration, inclusivity, and employee engagement.
Eventually, authorities will lift lockdowns, and businesses will open again. Leaders should therefore consider investing in flexible leadership as a necessity for every organization. It not only leads to business continuity but also improves engagement, agility, and performance. If the old ways aren’t working, why not try leading your team differently from now on?