How to Support Leaders as the Way We Work Evolves
Moving into the second half of 2021, companies continue to evolve in the way their employees show up to work, whether it is completely work-from-home, hybrid, or returning to in-person work. We are more than a year into the pandemic, and we are still learning how to support our Leaders through the ever-changing face of work.
Coaching Right Now’s Judy Sandiford spoke with Regional Lead Coach, Jodi Gold, about the challenges businesses and Leaders continue to face because of the Covid health crisis and its impact on organizations at every level.
Here’s a peek into their Q&A:
Judy: You not only are Lead Coach and help our coaches; you coach as well. So, I’m interested in hearing what has changed for clients that you’re talking with 2020 to 2021. What are you hearing?
Jodi: Well, of course, not all people are having the same experience during Covid times, but I segment it into a few groups:
First, there’s a group of people for whom working at home is really working. They don’t have a three-hour commute, they have more time with family, and doing things they like to do, and they’re not missing the face-to-face contact of working in-person.
These people have gotten used to the way things are. Perhaps they work in organizations that are either going to have a work-from-home policy that’s going to extend indefinitely or at least for certain roles, and they’re happy with that.
Next, there’s a segment of people who are burned out and tired. Their day consists of sitting in front of the screen and continue to suffer from “Zoom-fatigue” or “Covid-fatigue.” They are perhaps more “social beasts,” and the face-to-face and casual contact that isn’t structured is what they really miss.
These individuals might also be people who live in situations where they have a lot of family demands from young children or elderly parents, or they’ve had to deal with hard health issues within their families or themselves during this time. And, they’re just tired of the “rinse-and-repeat” or the sense of Groundhogs Day – and they feel burnt out and tired.
Finally, there’s an interesting third group of people who have joined their organization in the last 14 months, and they’ve never met their colleagues, bosses, or teams in person. And they’re doing the best they can, but they feel kind of lost. And without those pre-existing relationships to lean on and trying to form their networks makes it really hard for them.
Next, Jodi shared strategies for those that are onboarding new employees and those that are just joining new organizations – particularly in hybrid and remote workspaces.
As an organization or Leader onboarding a new hire: Be intentional about helping him or her be thoughtful about who to make connections with. What are meetings they should attend? Become really involved in the building of their networks, making introductions, create more context.
For someone who’s joining a new organization: This is a great time to reach out for help because we understand we are all in these unusual circumstances together. Be courageous, reach out. Don’t let the fact that you’ve never met someone face-to-face get in the way of building relationships in the networks you need. Reach out to your direct supervisor and to your peers for suggestions and input.
Jodi’s suggestions for Zoom-fatigue: Be thoughtful and deliberate about what meetings you don’t have to attend, or the people on your team don’t have to attend, or that you can have with less frequency. Are there meetings or times that people can turn off their cameras and meetings and times when it’s essential for people to have their cameras on?
Judy and Jodi closed by sharing that it’s most important to remember that when this pandemic is over, people are going to remember how they were treated during the crisis. As the economy starts to come back to life, and opportunities open, there’s going to be movement in the job market.
Make sure that you are retaining your Core Leaders, your best people. What creates loyalty is the memory that you were there for them, you cared about their development, you cared about their future.
There must be a thoughtful, organizational, and functional approach to developing your Leaders.
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