As companies begin to strategize on how to recover from the impact of COVID-19, they are forecasting the return of customer demand, required operational response, and workforce optimization. However, often these strategies fail to recognize the employees in the plan. Keeping a keen emphasis on employees’ engagement and experience through both working remotely and returning to a safe workplace will impact productivity and performance.
Now more than ever, we know one thing for certain – driving sustainable, high performance demands a culture of teamwork. Patrick Lencioni stated it best:
"Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage because it is so powerful and so rare."
In these uncertain times, with industries and markets that are continually evolving, let us take a look at how leveraging 3 key leadership strategies will make a meaningful impact on you, your team, and your high performance.
1. High-quality Communication.
It is ALWAYS the make or break issue – with many companies now executing a remote workforce, we must be proactive in our communication. Here’s a tip: if you think you are communicating enough, quadruple it! Establish a new standard for daily communications. Share organizational strategy (especially when it is evolving through the phased opening of business) and ways it might affect day to day responsibilities. Create agreements (See related blog: You Can’t Manage People, Better To Manage Agreements) focused on the performance expectations, any system documentation requirements, and reinforce that the company core values are more important than ever. Remember, working from home involves new and previously unmanaged distractions, such as family, kids, doorbells, etc. As we work to establish the new normal for how communication will impact each employee's performance, remember – be a little more accommodating, be nimble, be reasonable, but most importantly, COMMUNICATE.
2. Play Your Position
Butler Street’s mantra is "win your play." Winning your play involves executing at the highest level with every action taken to ensure the best possible outcome. For instance, if you're a salesperson leaving a voicemail, winning your play means you scripted what you wanted to say thinking about the industry and person you are calling. And thus, you tailored your message to specifically resonate with them, compelling them to want to hear more. I suppose Nick Saban says it best (whether you love or hate the guy, this is true):
"Ignore the scoreboard. Don’t worry about winning. Just focus on doing your job at the highest level on every single play and the wins will follow. If you win your play and the guy next to you wins his play and so on, the scoreboard will take care of itself."
Now that many are working from home, how can you ensure everyone is in a position to always win their play, despite distractions? First, get your family on board with the new normal. Let them know about your new "workspace" and agree to some ground rules to ensure everyone has a great experience. If needed, do fun things like setting up a signal system that indicates whether you can be disrupted. Something as simple as a placard system, where red means do not disturb, yellow means ask first, and green means "come on in." Also, block specific times on your calendar when you know you will be in a positive environment to accomplish particular tasks requiring that atmosphere. Will it be a little different now, "winning our play," or maybe even a little more challenging? Perhaps, but with a focus on the outcome needed, we must adjust.
3. Be a Continuous Learner
If there is one thing we all have control over right now, regardless of our work location, our current performance, or all of the distractions that exist, it is this – we can always make learning a priority. If we desire to grow at a faster rate than our competitors, then we must agree that learning and evolving at a more rapid rate than them is our only sustainable competitive advantage. So why is continuous learning so vital for you as a leader or an individual? Here are a few very positive outcomes you may experience:
1. Become the Top Performer - Attaining new skills and knowledge will increase personal performance and put you in a position to lead your company in outcomes.
2. Career Development - Supplemental training will help achieve goals for individuals tracking an upward career path or wanting to experience a new position.
3. Promotions or Bonuses – Investing in learning a new skill or enhancing current knowledge will benefit your performance and perhaps create a future promotion or achievement of a bonus.
With the many forms of continuous learning available, whether virtual training, eLearning, or organizational training, you are in control of your learning trajectory.
Butler Street's blended learning options strengthen and elevate skills through interactive eLearning modules aligned with live, instructor-led sessions. From 4 hour workshops to comprehensive, 9-session recruiting, sales or leadership training, you'll be positioned to build back better. Contact us to learn more.