Industry experts have been talking about the “new norm” that proceeds the outbreak. The term refers to a major paradigm shift in the way society functions, and how organisations operate. Leadership development lies at the heart of this change as leadership development post COVID-19 will determine how well an organisation adapts. Businesses and organisations can score a significant edge over competitors through consistent and effective leadership development.
The skills and abilities of leaders are honed during training, enabling them to inspire, empower, and serve with greater confidence. Therefore, it is necessary to modify leadership development to suit the changing of times – specifically remote working environments.
Remote work conditions bring novel challenges to organisational leaders, which displaces them from their comfort zones. Workplace culture, communications, and interpersonal relations are all affected to some degree during abrupt remote arrangements.
Modern leadership development should include remote considerations now more than ever. The modern leader has to be well-prepared to optimise workplace functions under location-agnostic situations.
Maintain Employee Connection
Remote working conditions require a set of tools different from WFO conditions. Internal communication is bound to be affected in some way during transition. Thus, leadership development could include specialised training in the use of mobile applications that facilitate employee communication and debriefing needs.
Also, it is important for managers to check in with workers every, or every other workday to maintain a semblance of normalcy. Thus, it would be advantageous to go for collaborative platforms like Zoho Cliq, with scheduling features that set routines or “work rituals” in place.
Improve Virtual Leadership
It is becoming increasingly important to focus on virtual leadership development. Unlike face to face communication, virtual leadership depends entirely on trust and flexibility. Thus, leaders need to be trained on how they can remotely delegate tasks to workers while maximising productivity.
More importantly, leaders should be taught or given a refresher on the nuts and bolts of virtual management. This means reducing disruptions and distractions during remote conferences and ensuring that proper data security is active at all times.
Also, virtual leaders should be technically resourceful. For example, leaders should have a backup platform if mainstream communication servers were to overload or go down.
Emphasise on Soft Skills
Soft skills go beyond the walls of the workplace. Workers usually turn to leaders for support and direction during times of crisis. Thus, it is vital that leadership development focuses on soft skills that will help leaders better motivate and lead their employees.
Popular soft skills include teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, and communication. These are all crucial ingredients required in ensuring a highly functional remote workplace.
While the crisis might slow down or disrupt certain aspects of an organisation, it also provides opportunities to act on growth possibilities.
Leadership development post COVID-19 should strengthen the skills of opportunistic investment – placing the proverbial eggs in more than one basket.
This involves considerations in market trends, sudden changes in consumer behaviour, competitor analysis, and predictive technology.
Although innovation and insightfulness are mainstay leadership topics, they are most relevant and actionable during trying times.
A leader who is constantly seeking new opportunities will inspire workers to think out of the box and keep their organisations ahead of the crowd.
Leadership development is aptly tested during a major disruption. However, this also sorts out amazing leaders from the good ones. Strategic modifications to the development curriculum will enable leaders to confidently navigate through future periods of uncertainty.
StrengthsAsia has helped many individual and corporate clients all throughout the region in identifying and maximizing their talents, in driving engagement and increasing motivation in their work and life.
A devotee at the altar of language and a celebrant of expression. Laurenzo has written for various SMEs, MNCs, startups and international brands over the last three years. He specializes in topics of psychology, lifestyle, employee management, and digital trends.