The unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic has tested leaders, especially as it relates to how they lead their workers. As the crisis goes on, many that the author has spoken with have begun to frame it around three distinct phases: The Shelter-in-Place Phase, the Re-opening Business Phase, and the Post-COVID-19 Phase.
At the same time, having spent much of the first phase ensuring health and safety, attention is starting to focus on workers’ other, higher-level needs. Leaders are addressing their teams’ need for clarity and truth, helping them maintain authentic connections, and achieve growth and meaning in the context of social distancing.
By layering these two ideas over each other we’re beginning to see how the best companies are rallying to lead their organizations out of the first phase, through the second, and eventually, through the third. Much of their efforts involve open and transparent communication, mobilizing to support front-line workers, and connecting the company’s purpose to personal meaning. Re-opening likewise will occur through careful planning but also by addressing more than how to safely re-open workspaces. Positive communication with furloughed employees will be especially crucial. Finally, in the post-COVID-19 world, the author hopes companies can see ways to avoid just cutting staff and operating as a smaller company. By engaging in connecting work to the purpose of the company, and not just its current business model–the best companies will find new opportunities emerging from the crisis and may avoid deeply cutting staff.
Read the full article on the Harvard Business Review website.