Leaders need to take care of themselves, get help where needed and model that behavior for their employees, especially as this pandemic drags on, writes Alaina Love, CEO of Purpose Linked Consulting. “As a leader, it’s your job to manage the environment your employees are experiencing, which is even more difficult when the environment is not the office,” she writes.
In the early stages of the global pandemic, Lisa landed the job of her dreams, overseeing an international team of communication specialists who are rock stars in their field. Lisa has spent years preparing herself for the role, even taking on extra assignments to learn about parts of the business she wouldn’t normally be exposed to in the daily course of her duties.
I’ve known her for a number of years and have watched Lisa grow into a committed and accomplished leader. She isn’t afraid to do the work required for success.
Recently, Lisa contacted me for help with developing her team. “They don’t know me, and I don’t know them, since I’m new to this position. What can we do to turn this geographically dispersed group of professionals into a high-performing team that feels valued?”
Together, we agreed that a good start would be exposing the team to work that would reveal their passions and help them apply those passions to their roles. We would follow this with one-to-one coaching for each person and include action planning that allowed them to connect their passions to professional and personal goals. My discussions with employees revealed the totality of the challenge that Lisa was up against.
During the individual action planning sessions, I learned that several employees were new to the organization and hadn’t integrated with the team. In fact, due to the pandemic, they’d never met their co-workers in person. Other, longer-serviced employees revealed that they didn’t have a positive relationship with Lisa’s predecessor and received little in the way of professional development. They coped with the situation by segregating themselves and interacting with each other on an infrequent basis.