I have had some really interesting conversations with clients over the past few weeks, catching up after what has been a crazy few months. The world looks a lot different now than it did at the start of the year, and subsequently our clients organisations, teams and strategies do too!
One common theme through all of my conversations has been a real shift when it comes to leading teams and how to ensure they are as effective as possible - it demonstrates a real change in attitude from the start of the pandemic.
At the start I noticed real apprehension as we entered somewhat of an unknown world, with lots of us shifting to remote working, we are all experts in Microsoft Teams and Zoom now! But as expected, this new norm was often greeted with tighter controls as leaders looked to control the transition with more regular calls and increased KPI's.
That is a very different approach to the one I am seeing now, with leaders embracing the freedom of remote working and appreciating the benefits of a highly engaged team. By focusing on outcomes rather than outputs - leaders can encourage greater balance, whether that comes in the form of an extended lunch, an extra hour in bed in the morning or an early finish to pick the kids up from school.
The shift means that leaders are now more concerned with achieving goals, rather than how many hours it takes to achieve them. They would rather 6 hours at 100% than 7 hours at 80%. Wouldn't you?
The culture of wellness and self-care that we had baked in before COVID-19 is carrying us through the worst of the pandemic’s effects. The example above is real. When my team takes time to share they are taking a walk, meditating, or even—gasp—snoozing, they are met with encouragement. It’s universally acknowledged that these things are healthy and that the boss is wholly supportive.