The employee behind the screen: Leadership in the new normal

Without a doubt, Covid-19 drastically changed our world and with it, the daily routine of employees. They were forced to adapt thinking they would be working in this capacity for a limited time. Throughout the pandemic, they’ve been overloaded with reports, meetings, supervision, remote work, video conferencing, online teaching and an array of other tasks. The infrastructure these employees relied on fell, placing an even bigger strain on the very people supporting companies world-wide.

Leading and motivating people in the short-term is manageable, but when Covid-19 moved to the long-term, it’s forced leaders to learn and adapt. Sustainable leadership will need to focus on the people rather than just driven by KPIs, reporting, pressure, and control. Being virtual limits the personal interactions between staff and leadership which means the quality of those interactions and information provided is critical. Leadership now more than ever needs to take seriously how it interacts with employees to create unique and beneficial experiences with them and customers. People will notice if a leader speaks with passion or if they’re just going through the motions; if they really care about someone or are at a virtual hangout with them because “it’s what teams should do.”

Leaders find themselves in a situation that’s out of their area of influence and control. As a company however, you can relate to employees by communicating the situation and being truthful of how much they’re needed. Facing insecurity, uncertainty, and fear will be a part of the learning process, as well as finding how to mitigate those negative sentiments. Any gesture in times of uncertainty needs authenticity and a genuine interest in the people that work with you. There exists a great opportunity for leaders to make a lasting impact in their employees and, through them, to the customers themselves.