25 Aug Pillars of a Healthy Foundation
There’s no denying that the pandemic brought about some unexpected and challenging changes – both in the work and home environments.
I often hear people asking, “what’s the new normal look like?”
The real question I have for companies, and especially managers is: “How well do you and your team adapt?”
Because here’s the deal; it doesn’t matter what the “new normal” is. The impact has been made and how well organizations were and are able to adapt have shown success and retention.
The pandemic only highlighted and amplified what was already existing within an organization.
As I’ve seen companies both struggle and succeed during this crisis, I’ve identified one underlying differentiator: A company’s foundation.
The foundation is the load-bearing block from which everything is built. We’re all in a global crisis together, but our experiences are unique and thus built on different foundations. What the pandemic created was an unexpected and abrupt test of an organization’s foundation.
Because of this uniqueness, there’s no one size fits all. There are no instructions for managing a crisis, but intrinsic attributes can allow your company to persevere to adapt and overcome any unexpected situation.
4 Pillars of a Healthy Foundation
1)Communication: Communication is the key to any success.
“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” – George Bernard Shaw
Do you know what your employees need?
Do you know where your employees are at?
Do your managers have the resources they need?
Gone is the time to not get personal. You don’t need to be a therapist or financial advisor, but you do need to listen and direct them to resources to show them that you’re hearing them and in it with them.
2)Purpose: Successful teams lead with purpose and clarity. How do you get there? By asking the most important question: “Why?”. Then communicate that to your team.
Why are you making these decisions? Why is this important? Why will this be beneficial (and to whom)?
Employees will question and speculate. Communicating your purpose is essential to a thriving team to build trust and avoid toxic gossip.
The pandemic created a leadership challenge rarely experienced before: Loss of control. Organizations have had to be reactionary to guidelines and policies they didn’t get to make. Everyone is doing their best to determine the best route forward without much guidance, so communicating the why is extremely important.
3)Transparency: Speaking of the rumor mill, there’s nothing that spreads faster in an organization than gossip.
More than ever, transparency is vital to the health of an organization. Understanding your employees’ needs may result in different schedules, hours, or other flexibilities.
Having open and honest conversations about team members’ needs AND contributions will reduce office gossip, create more empathy, and keep everyone on the same page. The goal with transparency is to find balance, which may look different for each team member but will yield great results.
4)Effective Management: From a global pandemic to a change in team members, effective management has not changed.
An effective manager is aware of and embraces the fact that they wear multiple hats within their team.
A manager can carry through or tear down your foundation. So many times, I’ve heard managers state that their job is only telling people what to do to get the expected results. That mindset will create low trust and high turnover.
An effective manager will seek to understand:
- Their employees’ work styles
- Their employee’s individual situations (yes, you need to get to know them personally)
- How best to support employees to be successful
Connecting with your team, being clear with your goals and expectations, and seeing where they’re at is now essential.
The pandemic has created an employee-driven market. Your foundation is now more visible to prospective employees. It’s not about the salary, the perks, or the benefits anymore. It’s about how valued and appreciated an employee feels while being understood and cared for.
For over 20 years, I have worked in personnel management in various industries as well as for nonprofits and for-profits. As an outside resource for leaders and managers down to employees, I identify the sticking points that may be hindering growth or success and prescribe a plan that creates accountability and healthy longevity.
If you have struggled to find stability or are worried about preparing for the unknown, it’s time to connect with me for a workplace diagnosis. In only 15 minutes, I can help you identify areas for improvement to strengthen your foundation for success now and ongoing.