So, in the UK we have a roadmap for the next few months. We know the steps to get out of lockdown and we know roughly, the earliest dates when things will be opening up again. But what does it mean for you, as a leader? And by leader I’m talking about anyone in a business who has responsibility for other people – not just the MDs, CEOs or directors.

How are you feeling today? Honestly? Buzzing with excitement as you know exactly what needs to be done over the next few weeks to hit those targets, or slightly deflated at the thought of having to manage the emotions and feelings of your team for a few more months? Everyone, and I mean everyone, is juggling concerns about their personal health, their families health, their income, their mobility, looking after their relatives, the list is endless…and, that now very familiar word, unprecedented.

Which is why the last thing any good leader should be worrying about today is the profitability of their business. Business is, and always has been about people, whether a few people or thousands, every business has suppliers and partners and of course clients who are more worried about their personal situation than anything else right now. This isn’t primarily a global financial or economic crisis, it’s a personal one – and all leaders need to recognise and most importantly respect that.

Whether your business has flourished or just about stayed afloat during this pandemic, how you lead your team over the next 4 months will determine how they view you as a leader in the future. It’s a much-used adage and cliché but people work for people they like and respect, and in times of turmoil they expect those people to be honest, communicative and benevolent.

These continue to be challenging times and as a leader you are not expected to have all the answers, but you should have the humility to listen and the emotional intelligence to put your people first. As you discuss your recovery roadmap with your team over the next few days, aside from the financials, what provisions are there to ensure you’re leading with empathy, and above all, listening?

Good leaders who have been doing this for years will reap the benefits during the next few months. For those that haven’t, why don’t you try it and see what happens? If not, don’t be surprised if your team start looking elsewhere for companies with inclusive cultures, mutual respect and real values when this pandemic is finally over.

#leadership #workplacehealth #wellbeing #burnout #teamwork #compassion

Previously published on LinkedIn