How are you feeling right now?

Worried about the future? Anxious on what tomorrow looks like? or just scared of the unknown?

YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

As a leader you’re expected to have your ducks in a row right? You’re supposed to have all the answers to every question that your entire team or business can possibly ask. But what if you don’t? What if you’re unsure of what’s going to happen and as much as you try, you can’t answer the questions that are being asked of you?

First – breath

Second – believe that you don’t need to know all the answers at this exact moment, and don’t be worried about saying that to your people, after all you’re only human!

Even if you have done these 2 things, I doubt that this has miraculously made you feel better, but practice makes perfect, and if you do this each time that inner voice tells you you’re failing, it will eventually dim down that white noise.

Then FOCUS!

Act on what you do know, action things that are in your control, influence others to remain positive, and get excited, YEP, GET EXCITED!

The last few months have been nothing short of life changing for people in so many different ways, people are grieving for losses in their life, from losing family and friends, to losing jobs, lifestyles and physical social relationships that they held dear, and this should not be underestimated when the veil of COVID begins to disperse. As the doors of business and education begin to reopen, some people will begin to fear the return to the life that they had before for varying reasons. As a business, don’t lose the human aspect of who you and what your business stands for.

In life, with every negative there can be a positive, and what I have seen over the last few weeks is families reconnecting, parents spending quality time with children when before they were too busy, communities uniting in clapping each Thursday evening for our key workers, or neighbours looking out for each other.

People are learning to play again and enjoy life.

This is the exciting part, you have a chance to change the past normal to an exciting future by looking at your current strategy and pivoting to a new world that can bring you profitability, a committed and valued workforce and happy stakeholders! Every business should now be reviewing their flexible working policies, home working, part time working, working from home, condensed hours, and every other hybrid that is open for a trial. Granted some positions do not lend themselves to some of these but most can adapt to some form of hybrid that works for the business and the employee.

Now is the time your inner voice engages the BUT demon who is saying…

But this would increase our headcount! Yes it will, but the only thing headcount tells you is how many people you employ, move your focus to FTE which gives you a much clearer view of your options, and much more scope for innovation.

But our business has always run Monday to Friday, 8am – 5pm? As Henry Ford said, if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got” Innovate, experiment, play with ideas and include your teams, they might just come out with a cracker of an idea that works.

But we would have to change the way we work completely? You’ve had to do this already through COVID, you know you can do it, exciting isn’t it? A business transformation where the benefits are you have a much more engage workforce, flexible, committed, happy, PRODUCTIVE!

But it’s more difficult managing remote workers or lots of part timers? You employ adults, as long as they know their role and understand the expectations set of them, they’ll do their job! Trust them, and if you don’t, ask yourself why you don’t? Steve Jobs said – it makes no sense to hire smart people, then tell them how to do their jobs!

But what if we struggle in recruiting people who want flexible working? Trust me you won’t have a problem! There are already thousands of people in the job market looking for roles that give them flexibility and work life balance. There are untapped markets out there that have struggled for years to have the flexibility at work they are after, skilled workers ready and eager to work for you, and they will give you everything they have!

But this wouldn’t work for senior roles, we need them here all the time? Ask yourself why you believe this? Are we back to trust issues and you need them there to make you feel more secure? I have recruited senior leaders on part time hours and it’s been extremely successful.

There may be a barrage of BUT’s coming from the demon, but if you sit back and really think about each one, there is a counter argument that can be used, if you look hard enough.

Business transformation can be a scary prospect and managing the fear of your people is a paramount in getting buy in and innovation. The results can be extraordinary and well worth some of the pain that you need to go through to get to the other side.

You and your leaders play the key role in communication, managing expectations, catching people if they fall, creating a culture of inclusion and ensuring that everyone has a purpose in the new world that is being created. Flexibility to pivot is fundamental when new, better options are presented, freedom to move forward can unleash the passion of people and reinvigorate a workforce. Ultimately making your business more successful.

How are you feeling right now?

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