Almost every industry has been going through restructuring their way of working and this uncertain time is certainly revealing what people-driven refers in reality. Undoubtedly this is the most challenging times we are observing in a lifetime and organizations are constantly finding ways to manage this downturn and hoping for quick rebound.

Along with working from home, layoffs, pay cuts has become the new normal. And the way it is communicated to employees is even more horrible. Due to this not only the trust and morale of employees is crushed but the organization’s reputation of claiming how much they care about their workforce has gone for a toss. We have observed how millions are being impacted in just the span of few months. Even the ones who are retained are living in constant anxiety and fear of what news waits when they re-join offices.

What if I ask what you think drives your team to the workplace? Or being a leader, what different you would want your team to experience when they re-enter the workplace? How well do we know our team, our colleagues, followers is the question we must ask ourselves before we start welcoming them again at office. Why always look for an ideal candidate? Why the entire pressure on the one who is working day and night for you, to keep you happy in order to not getting sacked? Why not empathize on being an ideal leader/manager, creating a stimulating and collegiate environment, making employees feel that they matter in reality under any circumstances.

Are you an ideal leader?

Here are some ways leaders can restructure the way of leading for developing a better functioning team in the organizations for the next normal.

Leader-follower relationship

There are various leadership styles that leaders follow which is based on the objective of the team. Some lead by counseling (focus on the past) and some by coaching (focus on the future). When we focus on coaching, we focus on moving toward more collective goals and interests, and efforts driven by trust, loyalty and sincere concern for others.

In order to ensure our teams are productive, there needs to build a psychological connection based on building a relationship characterized by trust and loyalty. Altruism in the workplace can act as a catalyst for high-performance in teams. It is generally observed that team trust is positively related to team performance.

Trust becomes significantly important for team performance in cross-functional and cross-hierarchical teams that need to work interdependently.

Motivational drives

Employee engagement is the trending concept in the organizations these days and leaders try to engage through various ways by holding staff meetings, conducting town hall meetings, collecting information from suggestion box and feedback forms to make sure that their workforce is engaged. But what does it actually mean to be engaged?

The goal is to not just collect information on monthly and quarterly basis but to analyze the information. It is about what we as a leader do with this information. Engagement requires satisfaction of basic motivational drives and job satisfaction is a core element. Job satisfaction is often tied to the nature of work, behavior of coworkers, current pay, scope for advancement in the present work, regular motivation, proper fulfillment of mentoring and supervision.

By strong leadership and effective training and mentorship, leaders can utilize the engagement data and design a well-formulated strategy about where and how changes can be implemented and make sure that employees feel a sense of allegiance.

It is critical that engagement stems NOT ONLY from alignment with the work itself, but also from the people that we work with marked by shared values and feelings of belongingness in the organization. It can be further bolstered by building inclusive organizational identity not just in words for the external world or building reputation but in action as well.

Culture magic

Strong culture enhances employee performance by shaping and guiding their behaviors and attitudes. When they are inherently engaged, it helps to excite their commitment and efforts. It is not about espouse values that you read on the website.  A strong culture is built on the pillars of shared values and the high level of intensity of these values.

Another tool is emphasizing innovation in action. Most organizations prefer creativity and hire creative people but fail to invest in creativity. Leaders must develop a culture where ideas and change is accepted and risk is supported in order to explore creativity and promote creative minds to bloom. When employees are psychologically secured, they can invest their minds freely in experimenting.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” — Peter Drucker. Leaders have always been the role model in the organization.  They carry the responsibility of shaping organizational culture which is often not easy to pin down how exactly it looks like. Therefore, it is ideal for leaders to communicate the vision consistently and effectively and to reiterate the importance of values and remind employees the importance of strategy. Lastly, to remind employees every single of what they do, contribute to success of the culture.