We all like to have clear, transparent plans. We want to know what we are working towards, what is the purpose and relay this information across our business environments. But at the moment, nothing seems clear and everyone looks up to the leadership team to provide direction.
Gallup surveys reveal that the 4 universal needs followers have of leaders is : Trust, Compassion, Stability, Hope. Where you can’t be clear about the future, that’s OK, it’s about being open with your team and demonstrating your ability to be honest.
Stability and Hope are difficult to offer at this time. For many, there is now a closing window on the income stability provided, to an extent, by the Furlough and not all see hope being provided in the form of the new inbound Job Support Scheme. Any and every opportunity to share positives – innovative, safe ways of working that lead to a new way of delivering a service are to be grasped with tempered optimism.
As a strategic partner for ACOSVO, we considered these needs when we chaired a discussion at their annual conference entitled ‘A Clear Vision for the Wellbeing of your Remote Staff’. What we found was an absolute willingness from leaders to lead with vulnerability – demonstrating an ability to be open and honest with their teams. Also leaders were looking to actively celebrate the new learning experiences that have been nimbly absorbed by their teams during recent months. It is clear that challenges remain for peer to peer support mechanisms, without creating walking, cycling cliques that can lead to a perception of exclusion. Uzma Khan, professional economist, delivered an inspiring key note speech that made us take stock of how we need to consider different types of leadership; to do what’s in the best interest of the team and how the creation of space for your team to be innovative can yield positive returns.
With such positive input at this event, my main take away was to go out into the bright and clear daylight, reset my frame of mind before the veil of the early evening arrives.
HR professionals should continue to support the development of communication skills in this area as an individual’s engagement at work is heavily driven by their manager. Amongst the project work in which we continue to support our clients, communication plans continue to be key tools in ensuring that messages are clear, honest and inclusive.
If you have any questions on any of the issues mentioned in the above article, please contact Ruth Gladwell.