Ever wondered what company culture will be like post-COVID-19? With the pandemic forcing many to work from home, people have had to adjust to a new working norm. But just how much of this change in culture will remain as we begin to return to normal?
Let’s be honest, the pandemic will have lasting effects on corporate culture. Companies have had to adapt to a digital workforce in order to survive, and working from home only emphasised the importance of efficient technology, communication, collaboration, and leadership. This has marked a permanent turning point in the reshaping of corporate culture – the beliefs and behaviours that influence how a company’s staff and management operate.
While working from home, employees have experienced a number of perks, such as being able to maximise their productivity, and establish a healthier work-life balance. Companies have had to be more accommodating, and to some extent employees were given the opportunity to design life their way. Flexitime hours allow some to start early and finish at 4, to take a longer lunch break with no need to travel or sit in traffic for hours. Remote working tools such as video conferencing, emailing, and messaging have helped pave the way during this time, and have demonstrated that working from home is possible and cost-effective for many companies and its employees. This is quite possibly the future of the work environment.
One of the biggest challenges comes with supporting employees’ well-being; a crucial barometer for success. Leaders need to recognise that not every call, email, or meeting should be all about work. It should also be about what companies can do to support their employees, and how their employees are doing.
We’re beginning to see shifts in the dynamic of workforces around the globe, with a continuation in remote working and fewer people in the office. So, what can we expect to see once we break through to the other side of the pandemic?
Flexible working will become the norm
Significant shifts in working patterns were already in motion before the outbreak of the virus, with technology such as laptops, cell phones, and remote tools allowing our work to become more portable. A survey done in 2019 found that 61% of global organisations offered their staff some form of remote working policy, with 77% of people saying that working from home has improved their overall health and well-being.
Although adjusting to a new way of working can prove challenging, employees have now experienced first-hand how they can balance their work and personal responsibilities around their day, showing them just how feasible remote working can be, and that there is no longer a need to be primarily office-based.
Co-working spaces will become more popular
Of course, working remotely doesn’t necessarily have to mean working from the confines of your own home. As lockdown restrictions ease, employees have the flexibility to mix up their working environments, allowing them to work in spaces where they feel most productive. For some, this could be a coffee shop or a dedicated co-working space – particularly as interaction with other people can help to inspire and motivate some to stay focused and productive.
As remote working habits continue to increase, we’ll start to see shifts in our working lifestyles. Commuting time will be cut down and stress levels will reduce, giving employees the opportunity to make the most of their working hours and choose who they spend their working time with.
Increased video calls
The use of video conferencing has proved highly effective, becoming an essential for everyone to stay connected, both professionally and personally. Video calls allow us to connect with people across the globe in an effort to replicate that all-important face-to-face communication. It has given companies an opportunity to expand their teams on a global scale, but also keep their local employees connected while working from home.
When we think about office culture, we tend to think of office banter, coffee catch-ups, team lunches, or after-work drinks. The rise in remote working has removed this physical contact between colleagues. Video conferencing is therefore going to become a key component in ensuring that strong communication is maintained, and keeps operations flowing.
Communication will be the core
Communication is the biggest challenge for companies who are moving into a remote environment. There are many positives to be gained by making the shift, however businesses will only take up new working patterns if they can ensure that their employees are able to carry out their roles as effectively as they would have before. Effective communication is at the core of a seamless and effective workflow, and will likely be the biggest make-or-break when it comes to remote working.
Companies will need to ensure that the correct resources are allocated, and that the necessary steps are put into place – and are effectively implemented – to see changes to their company culture. If they can develop strong methods for communicating, then many of the other ‘issues’ that come from working remotely will resolve themselves.
Providing emotional along with technical support
While technology is the key to keeping a remote workforce functioning at a high level, it will come down to leaders to create a culture of mutual support, teambuilding, and forging healthy bonds. It will be up to them to carry through the ‘new’ company culture. Ultimately, companies will want employees looking out for each other, building trust, connecting with their colleagues, and offering support.
The employee experience will be supported by embedding the right policies, practices, and expectations. Not every chat, call, or email will be business-related – personalisation will need to come into play too.
Relationships among teams will improve; having all experienced the effects of the pandemic creates bonds in relationships, bringing new levels of connection.
To keep things from falling through the cracks, it is essential to implement the right tools (project management, time management, video conferencing and others). Developing techniques for working efficiently from separate locations, as well as focusing on exciting collaborating strategies, will ensure that productivity stays high – or even increases.
All of this means better collaboration and more enthusiasm for teamwork and shared success.
The pandemic has challenged and shaken us up in almost every way. It’s been sudden, profound, and life-changing. Companies have been forced to make major changes, and, in the process, are seeing the workplace – and the world – differently. Employees can choose where they work and who they work with. This is playing a significant role in the new dynamic of company culture, which will ultimately change our everyday lifestyles as we know it.
If you need help supporting change in your company culture, or changing your current one, please get in touch with the team at 4Seeds. We’re all about cultivating happy employees and better support structures.
As South Africa approaches the six-month mark under lockdown restrictions, I don’t believe there’s a single person who doesn’t want things to go back to normal. But what most of us have probably realised is that things aren’t going to be normal for at least a few more months – if not years. Some things will never be the same again!
To stop, or at least to slow down, the impact of COVID-19, we have had to change almost everything we do: the way we work, exercise, socialise, shop, educate our children, and take care of our families. Every single country aimed to ‘flatten the curve’ by imposing social-distancing measures, but this brought about a shift in the working world, for companies and employees alike.
Now that the government has eased the nationwide lockdown to alert level 2, businesses and employers will again have to be innovative to keep their companies going and their people working. The COVID-19 pandemic is not a temporary disruption; it’s the start of a completely different way of life. We don’t know exactly what this new future looks like, of course, but we do know that working remotely isn’t just a cute new trend. It’s a new reality, and it’s here to stay.
No one can predict the number of people who will become unemployed, but it’s already evident that many thousands of businesses across all sectors will never operate fully again, and thousands of people will lose their jobs. Sadly, those with no capacity to work from home, and the people who don’t have the skills or experience to find work will be most affected in the post-pandemic economy.
Fast-forward a few months to when we move to alert level 1. What happens then? Does everyone simply return to work as usual? What sort of work environment will we be walking into? How many jobs will still be available? Will the experience of living through COVID-19 suggest that going back to old ways might not be such a good idea? And, of course, we need to remember that no one knows how long COVID-19 will be around.
As with everything, there are pros and cons of working from home. Imposing one-size-fits-all policies on it will come at a cost to everyone. Some people simply cannot work from home because they miss the office banter, time away from families, and the support. Others have found that they have so much more time on their hands, are getting much more work done, have read books which have been on their bedside table for too long, have reconnected with their families, and to some it’s felt like a bit of a holiday, with less stress and no company politics.
What employees do want, however, is to still feel that they’re connected to their colleagues, and part of a team. With the help of evolving applications, companies are succeeding at this, whether through virtual weekly meetings, or just by encouraging people to call each other, rather than emailing and texting. After all, we’re creatures of habit, and most of us get used to routines – many may even like them – and few want them to be disturbed. As time goes on, though, all of us will begin to adapt to a new routines, working spaces, and a different kind of relationships.
COVID-19 has not been without a silver lining. Carbon emissions have gone into free fall; air pollution has evaporated, leaving cities tolerable for children to play outside; traffic commutes have become more manageable; companies have saved on office expenses; and there has been a re-flourishing of the sense of community, supporting local businesses, and building together to get through this hardship.
The point is that the virus has given us a glimpse of how we might live and work very differently, and perhaps more in tune with the future.
Gone are the days when the office was somewhere employees spent time at during working hours. Today’s always-connected, instant-access environment has blurred the lines between the office, and the place where work actually gets done.
The digital world is profoundly affecting the ways in which people contribute to work, life, and society.
Offices are becoming digital, and employees are communicating and collaborating in new and exciting ways. It’s now the norm to have meetings from different locations, be they offices, homes, or countries, and companies are finding that working remotely not only provides a more flexible work environment, but also helps increase productivity and job satisfaction. According to the Digital Marketing Institute, employees who work remotely are 91% more productive, and with the demand for specific skills at an all-time high, remote working offers a solution for companies to find the right people without them having to be based in the same place.
While the move to transform digitally has led to many jobs being lost, it has also opened new, productive, innovative, and rewarding forms of job creation. COVID-19 has certainly accelerated the changes. New technologies have given companies the opportunity to offer employees flexibility, which means that even in the midst of a worldwide pandemic, people can carry on productively, with limited impact, in a secure and collaborative way.
In order for employees to work efficiently in different locations, companies have had to embrace the evolution, and create strong digital cultures to support changes in working styles. They now need to offer a consumer-like user experience which is aligned with today’s working environment, and one which allows employees to work more transparently.
Companies have had to define ‘their’ digital workspace, offer virtual assistance to support virtual work environments, and provide the right tools and information. They have given their staff choice and flexibility. In doing so, they have found that by incorporating the technologies that employees already use, such as email, instant messaging, social media, and virtual meeting tools, communication barriers have disappeared. This has empowered employees, and allowed them to work more efficiently and successfully.
Employees now expect a more personal, digitally-driven work experience, and look to their employers to raise employee engagement, allow them to achieve business outcomes faster, and give them the tools to reduce costs and increase efficiency.
It’s also important to remember that the efficiency of an employee’s digital workspace depends on their individual qualities, their environment, and the changes they effect to make these tools work for them so that they can fulfil their job. And with so many benefits to both the employer and the employee, it’s in the employees’ best interests to implement the necessary discipline and dedicated work space to raise their own efficiency levels and be more productive.
Working in the digital world offers flexibility, freedom, and opportunities for employers and employees to create healthier habits while remaining productive. New digital platforms will continue to help companies operate more effectively; however both parties need to play their part in making it an efficient and healthy working environment.
Working remotely is a big drawcard for companies, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers employees a lifestyle where they can protect their personal time, but at the same time follow a healthy work-life balance.
There’s no denying it: remote working is the new normal! The benefits of a digital workspace have become apparent to employers and employees, and nobody’s going back to the old ways.
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged businesses to reinvent themselves. In some cases, businesses have had to make the difficult decision of whether to close their doors, or to extend themselves into the digital age. We’re beginning to not only work remotely, but also to modify the way we do business. Most people have discovered that many jobs can actually be done remotely, and that a majority of employees actually prefer to work from home if at all possible.
Companies are starting to invest in technologies and systems that facilitate the digital workstation, giving employees the tools they need to connect, collaborate, and perform their core responsibilities from anywhere, at any time. There are, however, people who are still sceptical, so let’s explore the benefits that your company could be missing by not embracing the digital workspace.
Employees have the ability to work remotely, and with maximum flexibility. In so doing, there’s no compromise to the company’s efficiency, its productivity, or its ability to meet its goals. There are no limits to the concepts of place or time, and there are any number of technologies available. In addition, employees are unfettered by time restrictions, giving them more choices as to when they will work. Given those choices, employees can schedule work times to suit themselves, and will probably put in more time than necessary.
BC (before COVID), employees may have felt that they were isolated and away from their team and support system. With so many options available, everyone can easily interact with each other in virtual meetings. The ability exists to share and discuss documents, data, and images, and people can exchange ideas about things that they’re working on. They can also collaborate on projects together, despite the geographic distances that may separate them. And it’s generally easier to keep everyone engaged and in step, because people are almost always online in some way.
Company cultures are beginning to adapt, and we’re seeing happier employees who are more engaged, have better ideas, and are more innovative.
There are many benefits for both employees and employers.
Employees produce more when they have a healthy work-life balance. And because they can work from home, they’re less likely to call in sick, because in many cases they can still work from home.
Employees are generally happier, and are more likely to offer the best of their skills and talents to the company. They tend to be more engaged, productive, efficient, and offer better customer experience.
Staff turnover is reduced because employees feel trusted, rewarded, and appreciated. Companies which offer flexible work arrangements find it easier to attract potential employees.
Employees and employers recognise and value the importance of the seamless integration of the various digital technologies in the workspace. This enables the improved management of workforce resources, team communications, training, performance statistics and reviews, and HR matters. The workspace can be brought together by means of communication applications such as chat, video conferencing, and conference calls.
This should be the foremost reason to transform your organisation into a digital workspace. Everyone will benefit massively from this.
Employees will have more hours in the day, more flexibility, and so many more added personal benefits and savings. They won’t have to pay for public transport, or for petrol and car servicing, or parking, and they’ll save on commuting time. There will also be less time spent in bumper-to-bumper traffic, probably resulting in less road rage. And they’ll be in much better shape to start their day!
Companies will enjoy reduced (or eliminated) office and building costs, office-related issues, building maintenance, staff refreshments, stationery, and much more.
Change is never easy, but with COVID-19 as the biggest factor – it’s really a game changer – can your business really afford not to invest in the digital future and the future of your company?
With the announcement of the nationwide lockdown, companies have become despondent, and absolutely terrified that their business may shut down. It’s at times like these that optimists would say that ’n boer maak ’n plan, and, in some cases, this is true. Many businesses will rise to the challenge, make a full recovery, and inspire others to do the same.
Companies have been forced to become smarter and more flexible. Most have discovered that their teams can actually work from home. Some employees have adopted a new sense of work-life balance, and many others are more connected than ever before. Boomers have literally become Zoomers! Apart from that, e-commerce and direct-to-consumer experience companies are achieving accelerated growth, and e-health, e-legal, and other e-solutions are popping up rapidly. This is really good news if you’re in a business where you can ride the wave!
If you’re not, however, you may be one of those companies who will experience a defensive reflex to keep the spiralling losses under control, especially if you’re in high-impact industries like construction, tourism, and entertainment. It’s important to remember that no-one will be entirely spared from the impact of this pandemic. It will have a profound impact on all aspects of every business, and it is totally understandable that in times where demand is plummeting, and the future outlook is uncertain, companies will refocus all their efforts on the essential business processes to keep the business afloat!
Amidst these massive disruptions, a combination of short- and long-term innovation responses can provide a ray of hope for businesses. If history has taught us anything, it is that we are capable of finding interesting ways to reinvent ourselves – often bouncing back even stronger than before!
Just as the pandemic has revealed differences regarding the preference to work from home, experience with remote learning, entertainment, and consumption will also shape consumer attitudes toward digital and physical experiences. Differences in consumer preferences may generate valuable business opportunities, new products and services, and new business models.
To ensure that your company responds efficiently to new opportunities, you may wish to consider expanding your brainstorming to include external input. Ideas from customers, partners, and other external parties may offer invaluable insight, and a way to get ahead of the curve when it comes to market trends and reprioritisations. You might find that communication and collaboration are more crucial than ever, and that you’ll need to adapt your processes, find ways to streamline your workflows, increase productivity, and reduce wastage.
There’s no way around it. The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed our daily lives, and the same is true for our businesses. One thing is for sure, though. It has encouraged innovation, and we’re starting to see a true entrepreneurial spirit emerge. There’s a change from victim mentality to that of being a leader; businesses and communities are supporting each other, “local is lekker”, and sharing, collaborating, and innovating is at its best! And as the world begins to emerge from the crisis, we will find new ways to interact, entrepreneurs will actualise previously untenable business opportunities and reassess innovation strategies, consumers will be able to take advantage of new environments, and policy and regulations will adapt to keep everyone safer in the future.
“The only way to discover the limits of what’s possible is to go beyond them to the impossible.” (Arthur C Clarke)
The current worldwide pandemic has brought about fear and anxiety in many people around the globe. With the changes in our routines, our work life, social distancing, mandatory lockdowns, shopping, kids, and our homes, the coronavirus has become a brutal psychological test for many. We’re worried about life, finances, our jobs and our health, running a family, and so much more. While in lockdown, working from home, and not having to go out might be easy for some, it’s not that simple for others, and causes much distress.
Fear, anxiety, worry, and many more emotions come up for many people. But how to deal with it? How do you ensure your mental peace and physical health don’t take a toll? How do you make sure everything is good around you, and that you remain strong for yourself and your loved ones?
We’re all wired to follow a certain set of patterns, so this change and uncertainty is bringing up a lot of insecurity; this will obviously lead to anxiety. It’s essential to remember that you’re not alone. We’re all going through this, and to help you to control your anxiety and fear during lockdown, we suggest the following strategies.
Tell yourself that this is not permanent
While problems and crises do happen, we must also remember that we have had our share of good times too.
Everything in life goes in a cycle. So, while there are ups and downs, none of it is permanent. It will eventually fade out, and life will return to normal. Keep telling yourself this; it will give you a sense of hope and long-term security.
Stay away from unnecessary information
While it’s good to be updated on what’s happening, and to take precautions accordingly, too much disturbing news, and the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases has a very strong impact. It brings up all the stored traumas in our subconscious mind, which will lead to more anxiety and fear.
Our advice is to limit your time on social media and the news, so as to avoid its impact on your mental health. You can, however, still adhere to the basics to help curb the crisis.
The benefits of practicing gratitude are endless. People who do this, taking time to notice and reflect on the things they’re thankful for, experience more positive emotions, feel more alive, sleep better, express more compassion and kindness, and have stronger immune systems.
Gratitude helps release serotonin (called the ‘happy chemical’, it contributes to well-being and happiness) into the bloodstream. This instantly elevates a person’s state of mind, and helps them to release their fears and worries.
Gratitude is not only about being thankful for positive experiences. In fact, sometimes thinking about negative or difficult situations can help to really nail down what you have to be thankful for.
Be grateful for your house, your body, food, and your family. Remind yourself how significant these things are, and how quickly we forget how important they are in our daily grind. Notice the good things, look for them, and appreciate them. Savour, absorb, and really pay attention to those things. Express your gratitude to yourself in your journal, or thank someone personally. Remembering these things and feeling grateful will also help switch your focus from a sorry state to a pleasant state of mind.
Create a flexible but consistent daily routine
Working from home sounds like a dream — pyjamas all day, slacking off, maybe even working from the couch! But it can get bleak and unproductive pretty quickly if not approached in the right way.
Even if you don’t have to keep the same hours you did when you were going into the office, try to have some kind of regular routine. Wake up and go sleep at the same time, exercise, watch TV when you usually watch TV, and eat regular meals. Dress for work! You can’t feel and act like a professional while wearing pyjamas. You’ll stay productive, and the more you stick to that routine, the easier it will be when you return to work.
Exercise and eat right
While we don’t have access to gyms, fitness classes, sport facilities, stadiums, public pools, and playgrounds, it doesn’t mean we should stop being physically active. There are plenty of online workouts you can do from the comfort of your home, and doing so can help your mental health. There are any number of exercises you can do without any equipment, and YouTube, Instagram and other social media platforms have channels that offer instruction in everything from yoga to Pilates to strength training. And, if you can still go outside to your garden, nothing beats a bit of gardening, and the extra Vitamin D is great for your immune system. These activities will not only keep you in shape, but they’ll also release toxins from the body. You’ll feel a sense of accomplishment and will release all your stored energy.
When it comes to eating, include more greens and water-based fruits, as they keep your mind and body balanced, active, and healthy. Your food does not have to be boring, and it’s actually the perfect time to experiment with new and exciting recipes.
Keep a clean and positive environment
A clean home really lifts our mood. Also, cleaning helps us feel a sense of accomplishment, and diverts our focus from what we’re feeling.
Do a deep spring-clean, and get rid of things that you no longer need. Organise and de-clutter your home and workspace. Not only will this protect against the spread of illness, but it also makes being cooped up in your home a lot more pleasant. Finish that list of chores you’ve been putting off, or never had time for. Also, find ways of putting out brightly coloured things, and play uplifting music. This will definitely enhance your environment, and make you more cheerful and relaxed.
Focus on what’s really important
“And just like that, money, social status, and all that superficial stuff means absolutely nothing.”
We often talk about our priorities in life. How many of us have actually stopped to really think about what’s most important to us (relationships, jobs, money, status, material objects)? Never mind how much time we spend on our priorities compared to the less important things. Well, now is as good a time as any to invest in what really matters.
Stay connected to your support network, and make sure it’s a healthy one. Check in with your close friends and family. Get on the phone, Skype, or FaceTime, and make time to connect regularly. You’ll probably need it, and so will everyone else.
Ask yourself what works for you. What are the circumstances that allow you to be your happiest, calmest, most energetic, and most productive? Try create the most favourable circumstances for yourself. Remove the things you don’t need, don’t use, and don’t love. You may find that you have more space to be creative, and you might get a boost in focus too. It’s irrational, but it’s true: There’s a lot we can’t control, but being able to manage the things we can control in our life will help lift heavy burdens, allow us to reconnect with what’s really important, and will bring a lot more peace and joy.
Use this time to visualise and create your future
We’re all worried about countless things at the moment. Our next paycheque, taking care of our loved ones, paying the bills, our relationships, and stability. Now’s the time to visualise and think about building a future.
Create a foundation of what you’d like to achieve once the pandemic is over. Visualisation helps us get clarity. It also helps in actualising our dreams and reality. This is the perfect time to think about our goals, and as we do that, our focus will shift from fear to what possibilities can be created. All of this will help us feel a sense of hope and positivity.
This is an unprecedented time, and you’re doing the best you can. We don’t know how long this isolation will last, but think about how much better things are going to be on the other side. We’ll be able to visit people, go to our offices, and most importantly we’ll have a better understanding of what matters and how we want to deal with the future. Be grateful for this time, think of the end goal, and take things day by day.
We’re resilient people, and we will get through this!
These techniques are there to help you to deal with fear and anxiety. If you feel as if your emotions are building up and they’re too much to handle, it’s advisable to talk to someone or seek professional help. The team at 4 Seeds is here to help with personal and business coaching to provide the support, expertise, and resources you need to manage yourself, your business, and your employees in this challenging time.
Being a team leader, or the person in charge, is so much more than just being the one calling the shots. Your every action determines what your staff think of you, and how they see you, and your every decision has an impact on them.
Leading other people can be a daunting experience. You’ll be faced with strong-willed personalities, little to no authority, demanding bosses, under-performing team members, tight deadlines, and long hours; all of which will make you quickly realise you’ve never been trained to deal with the realities of leadership.
Anyone who has ever led a team has probably faced some self-doubt about their ability to be the one “up front.”
Most leaders get questions like: “What is this thing called leadership?”, “How do I get my point across?”, “How do I establish the best relationship with my team?”, and “What makes a great leader?”
Seven Fundamental Factors for being a Candidate and Confident Leader
- Accountability: Be accountable for your own actions, and be able to hold someone else accountable for theirs.
- Coaching and Developing: Be coachable by others, open to suggestions, and learn how to coach and develop others.
- Goal Setting: Be able to set goals for yourself as the leader, as well as for your team, and be active in achieving them.
- Planning: Plan your days, weeks, and months ahead, and discuss this with your team during meetings so they know what is required of them, and by when.
- Time Management: Being able to manage your own time is easy for some leaders, but you need to develop the skills to manage the time of an entire team of people.
- Relationships: Know your strengths and weaknesses, as well as those of your team, and use this knowledge to maximise your leadership efficiency.
- Knowledge: A leader does not need to have all the information, but they do need to be aware of their team’s knowledge. By understanding your individual team members’ strengths in certain areas, you can use this to its full potential.
Being a Leader, Know Yourself
We all have blind spots, and if we don’t know them, we’ll tend to crash as a leader.
The fundamental knowledge many leaders lack is a thorough understanding of themselves. Find the time to learn about yourself and your interactions with others. You are going to discover that most of the people you interact with are wired differently, and you’ll learn that the most common challenges are dealing with people who have different perspectives and opinions. You’ll need to figure out what makes people tick, what motivates them, how they deal with stress, how they interact with others, what they like to do, and what they find frustrating.
Your Leadership Philosophy
Look at your own values and work out what you expect from your team. Think about what they can expect from you.
Start developing your leadership philosophy – a written document that describes what you believe as a leader, your vision for the team, and the team’s mission. Putting together a leadership philosophy is one of the most important and valuable steps you can take to start off on the right foot with your new team, or improve your effectiveness leading the existing one.
A personal leadership philosophy is not a complicated system that you have to create from scratch. It’s simply a set of beliefs and principles you use to evaluate information and respond to people and situations. It allows anyone who hears it to understand your values, priorities, approach to decision-making, and what you expect from yourself and others.
Step up your Game and Own the Results
Accountability is something that trips up most leaders.
Learn to own your team’s results, no matter what. Realise that you are going to be faced with broken promises and unmet expectations. Learn what causes these situations and how to handle them. Hint: it’s not always about them!
Your team looks to you to set the example, for guidance, and for the confidence to approach situations within the workspace.
Leadership is the action of leading people in an organisation towards achieving goals (their own, the team’s, and the company’s). Leaders do this by influencing employee behaviours in several ways: setting a clear vision for the organisation, motivating employees, guiding them through the work process, and building morale.
A confident leader can build strong, long-lasting, and productive relationships with team members and associates. Confident leaders are considerate, handle conflicts appropriately, and create positive work environments.
Now, go out there and be a great leader!
It has been said that around 95% of organisations are either completely unprepared – or seriously underprepared – for crises, even the known ones. Most crises in the workplace stem from personal conflict, which often leads to a decline in morale, and gives way to a type of “don’t care” attitude. By having regular team interventions, we may gain not only insight into ourselves and our clients, but we can also mitigate current and future risks.
Employees play an essential role in a crisis, and should practice certain strategies in order to avoid conflict in the workplace. These would be things like discipline, respecting their workplace, being unbiased, knowing when is the right time to involve HR, actively listening to others, and applying empathy. Team leaders must actively foster positive relationships within their teams, and plan team building events that are fun and motivational. It’s essential to work on team skills such as communication, planning, problem-solving and conflict resolution, and to encourage team members to spend time together outside of work.
Not surprisingly, the first stage of a crisis is prevention. Amazingly, it is usually skipped altogether, even though it’s the least costly and the simplest way to control a potential crisis. The problem may be that crises are accepted by many executives as an unavoidable condition of everyday existence.
Understanding crisis prevention
Crisis prevention plans are intended to help individuals in the workforce to prevent minor problems from escalating into crisis events. A crisis is defined as a difficult or dangerous time in which a solution is needed, and fast! In order for an organisation to survive a crisis, drastic and extreme measures are sometimes taken. The key to crisis prevention is to have level-headed, positive, creative, and loyal team members who support each other as well as the organisation wholeheartedly.
Being able to effectively respond in the event of a crisis is critical to an organisation’s survival. Whether or not it is prepared for a potential crisis depends on both leadership and the workforce within the organisation. Training, equipping, and supporting teams plays an important role in crisis prevention.
Team building is the most important investment you can make for your staff. It builds trust, mitigates conflict, encourages communication, and increases collaboration. Accept the fact that every member of your team is a public relations representative as well as a crisis manager, no matter what their “official” role might be.
Keeping yourself and your team feeling empowered, with a strong sense of belonging, will naturally result in a stronger sense of responsibility. When individuals in the working environment feel as if they are valued, they will own their positions with a higher sense of duty, and communicate more openly. This is all generated through strong team building and strong leadership.
This is a fundamental, ethical, and responsibility issue which needs to be addressed during team interventions. Team members should not only have the confidence and be comfortable enough to act intuitively, but they must also feel a sense of duty and responsibility to act with initiative.
Whether a team member acts on their own in a corrective manner, or lets management know about an issue which poses potential risk to the organisation, IS NOT, in fact, the major issue. Whether a team member acts AT ALL, is.
Companies sometimes misclassify a problem, focusing on the technical aspects and ignoring issues of perception. Companies and teams must make plans for dealing with crises: action plans, communication plans, fire drills, and essential relationships, etc. Making a plan to deal with a variety of undesirable outcomes if disaster does strike is vital. It’s worth remembering that Noah started building the ark before the rain began.
Crisis management helps employees as well as organisations to cope with difficult times in the best possible way. There is an art to managing an emergency situation in the workplace, through effective planning and quick action. This needs to be done by leaders and employees during times of crisis.
Most importantly, once the organisation or team is out of crisis, it’s the leader’s duty to communicate the lessons learnt so that employees do not make the same mistakes again.
Almost every crisis contains the seeds of success as well as the roots of failure. Finding, cultivating, and harvesting that potential success is the essence of crisis management. And the essence of crisis mismanagement is the propensity to take a bad situation and make it worse.
In short, a good team will always be the perfect adherent to crisis prevention, while a not-so-good team, will run a bigger risk of falling into crisis. Discipline, both in the self and for authority, is what will prevent a constant state of crisis within an organisation, and lead to positive team building.
Setting out on a journey of personal growth and development can seem somewhat overwhelming. And, if you’re like most other people, your New Year’s resolutions will probably be history by the end of January.
Personal growth or development is difficult to define, in part because it’s, well, personal.
Personal growth is the process of growing stronger, more confident, more effective as a person, and of being an agent of change in your own life. More specifically, it relates to how you see and perceive yourself, interact with others, engage with the world, and envision your future and possibilities.
Personal growth will also lead to professional gains. There’s an undeniable overlap between the two; after all, our personal strengths and weaknesses affect us in whatever we do. And there are many ways where growing personally – and working on ourselves – can make us more efficient and happier in the workplace.
If you’re setting out on a journey of personal growth, where should you start?
True personal growth and development starts with making a decision. As individuals, we all harbour aspirations and dreams, yet we rarely stop and think about our future in detail. Think about this: would you let a contractor build your house without a plan? No! Then why do you allow yourself to go through life that way?
Setting out a personal growth plan helps you know where you’re headed and how to get there. It will bring clarity to your thinking, and you’ll know exactly where you want to be and how you want to get there. Furthermore, it will give you peace of mind that you’re headed in the right direction; your efforts will feel more deliberate, and your decisions will be easier to make.
Five steps to help you build your personal growth plan
This is probably the most important and most difficult step. Personal development is closely linked to self-awareness. It gives you the opportunity to take an honest look at the areas of your life that need improvement. Through this process, you’ll get to know who you are, what your values are, and where you would like you go in life.
Understanding yourself and what you want is vital. It’s about asking yourself the hard questions, and being truthful so that you can focus on the areas that you’ve outlined for improvement. For example, what are your weaknesses, your dreams, your professional goals, your personal needs, and what’s holding you back? Do you want to be more successful in your career? Do you want to have better personal relationships? What do you really want from life?
Set your goals
Having clearly-defined personal development goals can improve your performance in any area of your life, yet the benefit depends on the effort you put in to achieve those goals. You need to stop making vague intentions to lose weight, save money, or aim for a promotion, and start making specific and actionable goals. By doing this, you’ll start to achieve your personal and professional development goals, and will be able to track your progress and measure your success.
Setting goals and working towards them every day can give you renewed confidence, happiness, and passion for life and in the workplace. Your mindset is everything, so whatever your goals are, set them out, use timeframes, and make an effort every day to work towards them!
Create a plan
The key here is to write down specific actions for the future based on the goals you’ve set for yourself. Personal growth and development is a lifelong journey, and like any journey you’ll want to create a plan to help you reach your destination. Start by setting specific projects or tasks, and then note the actions needed to carry them out. What do you need to get them done? How are you going to do them? What skills do you need to help you get further? Remember that life changes rapidly and that we need to change with it, so it is wise to constantly review your plan and adapt it if necessary.
Get better each day
It’s really about creating new healthy habits in your life in order to reach your goals through the plan you’ve set for yourself. Self-growth is an ongoing process of constant learning and adapting, and gives you the opportunity to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, and to work on them. The benefits are that you’ll grow as a person while growing your skills; you’ll improve your self-awareness, and you’ll boost your confidence. Once you start to achieve your goals, you’ll naturally begin to feel good about yourself and will want to get better and better each day.
Get out of your comfort zone
The common focus on personal growth comes from people’s desire to be successful in life. And while it’s true that continuous personal development will earn you success in your personal and professional life, your personal development goals will not do you any favours unless you follow through by acting on them. So, in short, in order to grow and achieve growth, you have to step out, sometimes into the unknown, in order to progress and achieve all that you’ve set out to achieve.
When you look at successful people, you’ll almost always discover a plan – it’s the foundation for success!
Setting out on a journey of personal growth and development can be one of the most important things you’ll ever do. Making that decision is usually the easy part; it’s the commitment to a daily habit of improvement that can be difficult. But if you know yourself, set your goals, create a plan, get better each day, and get out of your comfort zone, you’ll make huge progress in the areas of your life that are most important to you. Don’t just make it a January thing, make it an everyday thing, a plan to change your year, your future, and your life.