In my work as a leadership Coach, I am often reminded that people are happiest when living closest to their values. While that seems straightforward, there are so many opportunities to lose sight of this tenet. I was reminded of living values in action early in November when Coaching Right Now hosted a webinar entitled HX: How the Human Experience Impacts Business Now.
Our panelists came from different functions, different organizations, and different countries. However, it was clear that what was central to navigating the impacts of a global pandemic were very similar to each of them and their organizations. They shared their experiences of needing to manage their functions from a business perspective and support the people within their teams. Here are some of the values I heard as they shared their experiences.
Setting expectations based on new reality
- Resources may need to change. Be open to adapting to the new “normal.”
- Ask frequently, “Are we resisting what is the reality of now, or are we adapting?”
- Identify new variables – what’s controllable and what’s not – then build mitigation plans and keep scanning the horizon to adjust.
- Open/honest/transparent – Tell people what you know, when you know it, and the impact.
- Frequent – Communication does not always trickle down well. Ensure, particularly in times of stress, that communication is frequent.
- Give visibility so can everyone see we truly are in this together (virtual coffees, check-ins that are not about “the work”).
- Make communication a BIG priority.
- Keep asking for feedback on how to improve. Remember, disruption is new learning for everyone.
Empathy and Trust
- Stay close as a leadership team.
- Happy employees bring happy customers. “We knew we had to focus on the employees to be able to service our customers.”
- Hold all employee calls to understand what was happening.
- Ask for employee feedback to identify ways to improve, and let them know what can and cannot be implemented.
- Virtual coffees allowed visibility for everyone to see we truly are in this together.
- Ask individuals both how they are doing and what they need to do their work.
- In all fairness, neither of our panelists ever used this word during the hour that they shared with us. But it was absolutely clear that their dedication to their teams and their organizations was tireless.
While these values were articulated based on two organization’s response to COVID-19, I would encourage us all to reflect on how we want to show up both in times of crisis and security.