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Employees behind the screens: Leadership during Covid-19


Covid-19 has recently turned our world upside-down. The daily routine of employees is no longer the same. We observe that employees have accepted this new situation because they were forced to, and because they thought working under these exceptional conditions was limited in time. They were overloaded with homework, home-office, home-schooling, home-everything as they had no infrastructure they could rely on anymore.

For leaders to motivate people this situation is kind of manageable knowing that there will be an end to it. Now, if we think that the end might be taking longer than expected or might never come, we open a whole new chapter for leaders. Sustainable leadership will be required to be much more human-centric and not only driven by KPIs, reports, pressure and monitoring. It is difficult to engage with employees if you don’t see them personally, but still the quality of the interaction and the quality of the information that leaders are giving in each interaction is more relevant than ever. So, we are now really forced to take it seriously when we say that we want to engage with employees to create relevant experience for THEM to be able to do the same with customers. Even if we don’t see each other, even if we don’t interact physically, engagement and interaction is still there. People still notice if you’re full of passion for what you do or if you fulfil a role without being authentic, if you really care or have a virtual drink because somebody told you that this is what most teams do lately.

Leaders are in a situation that is out of their area of influence and control, but still as a company we can engage with employees by just saying what the reality is and how we need each other to manage it, even if we don’t know what the outcome will be. We must connect to the insecurity, uncertainty, and fear – when fear is the most present emotion right now in companies – and have a clear position on how to reduce these negative feelings. A differential management in uncertain times needs authenticity and a real interest in the people who work for us as an organisation. There is a big opportunity for leaders to be relevant for their employees and at the same time engage with customers through them. Will you take it?

This post is also available in: Spanish