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Leading Through Business Disruption Due To COVID-19

In this article, I outline how business leaders can help and lead through the business disruption caused by COVID-19. This article is part of a series of 4 articles, an eBook, and a webinar. I highlight 8 strategies that will help employees and organizations respond to the crisis.

eBook Release: COVID-19 Survival Guide For L&D Teams
eBook Release
COVID-19 Survival Guide For L&D Teams
Find out insights and ideas you can use as you realign your learning strategies and online training delivery.

My other 3 articles touch upon:

Recap

In my previous article, 7 Key Areas L&D Teams Should Focus On To Handle Changing Workplace Dynamics, I touched upon the impact of the disruption and what L&D teams can do to establish an agile and flexible digital workplace.

For this to succeed, there are several aspects that must be handled by employees and business leaders.

In this article,

  • I outline, how L&D teams can contribute effectively to the business by helping employees and business leaders handle the changed dynamics.
  • Then, I highlight 8 strategies business leaders should use that would help the employees as well as the organization manage the crisis and respond effectively.

Support The Employees In Managing Changed Work Dynamics

One of the first things that all employees need to be mindful of during a crisis of this epic proportion is the need to be flexible and agile. Each employee must contribute to ensure that the organization can move ahead.

Besides taking care of the remotely operating employees, L&D teams can play a pivotal role in driving home the message that:

  • There is an implicit need to equip themselves to the changing dynamics and continue to contribute at the required levels.
  • As the clouds of global recession gather, there is also a need to invest in training, sharpen existing skills, or pick up new skills.

Enable And Empower Business Leaders During Business Disruption

In this endeavor, as the employees realign and adapt to the new dynamics, the contribution of business managers and leaders is critical for success. They can lead the change management initiative to help the employees and the organization respond better to the crisis. L&D teams can help businesses spot talent for this and then work on enabling and empowering them in the changed dynamics.

Best Practices For Business Leaders

To succeed during this crisis, here are 8 aspects that business leaders should focus on:

1. Communicate, Communicate, Communicate

At a time of crisis and changing dynamics, employees want a leader who regularly communicates.

2. This Is Not The Time For Perfection

Instead, the approach needs to be agile, iterative, and it should propel the teams to move forward.

3. Focus

At a time of crisis, business leaders can do away with the desirables. They can also keep the focus on what is crucial and important. This would bring in the desired focus on the team members as they see a limited set of areas to contribute to. Such a thing, makes things more feasible and achievable.

4. Experiment

Disruption gives you the room to innovate and do things that you wanted but didn’t get around to. Business leaders must use this opportunity to adopt different approaches that were in the storeroom.

5. Transparency

During the crisis, more than ever there is a need for real information—pleasant or otherwise. Alongside this, there should be suggestions on how it can be handled or what needs to be plugged or done differently. Employees realize that the scale of this challenge will throw up situations that organizations may not have faced in the past but this doesn’t mean that they can’t be overcome!

6. Recognize And Empower Employees Who Rise To The Challenge

Recognize and reward employees who adapt and effectively contribute to the changed dynamics. Hierarchy be damned; use them as "change champions" to catalyze further change that aligns the team better with the new goals.

7. Celebrate Small Gains And Mini Successes

As we face a huge crisis that the world hasn’t faced before, it can overwhelm us. What is important is to keep the positive energy flowing and even the smallest of good things should be shared with the team. You can devise virtual get-togethers to celebrate these mini successes.

8. Work On The Future

A crisis of this dimension needs ongoing crisis management. As the dynamics shift, so is the need to come up with supporting measures that can help the organization deal with it. However, this is not enough, even though it is tiring and time-consuming. Leaders also need to have a second and far more crucial track of looking ahead. This includes restrategizing with respect to new dynamics and tapping the opportunities that this crisis brings in.

Conclusion

So, what should be done by the L&D teams to handle the changed workplace dynamics and ensure that remote/virtual learning happens? The L&D teams can adopt several tips and strategies that will help them deal with this business disruption and successfully offer remote/virtual training [1].

This is outlined in my next article, 4 Pragmatic Strategies L&D Teams Must Use To Train Remote Workers With Limited Training Budgets. If you want to realign your learning strategies and online training delivery, download my eBook COVID-19: Tips, Strategies, Αnd Αn Action Plan To Handle The Training In The Changed Workplace Dynamics. Also, join the webinar I conducted on the same topic and get to discover additional insights.

References:

[1] How to Set a Foundation That Supports Employee Learning and Performance Improvement

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