It seems that we are all aware of the level of global anxiety caused by the pandemic. WHO had published alarming data from China, and psychologists worldwide report an increasing number of new patients. But lately, we had an opportunity to take a look at the well-being of people who are not asking for help. And the results of this quick look are disturbing.
A study published in September Psychological Trauma presents Google Trends data from the pandemic period. Scientists discovered a massive uptick in the rise of searches related to anxiety, panic attacks, and treatments for panic attacks. Scientists imply that soon we will fight against a “mental health tsunami” related to unanticipated death, burnout and unemployment.
This data should be an alarm for all CEOs and leaders. If companies want to take care of their employees, they need meaningful management. But where to start? We suggest introducing these two steps.
Make your goals agile
According to Business Agility Report from 2019, most companies rated their current business agility maturity relatively low. In 2020, this kind of approach is no longer an option. As Gallup experts recommend: “The current disruption and future uncertainty of our business landscape require an agile approach to goal setting. Goals need to be immediately adjusted to focus an aligned effort on business needs and how employees can best deliver value to the organisation.”
But how to achieve that? A good start is investing in a culture of trust at your company. When your employees are empowered, they are more likely to respond to rapid changes in the business environment quickly. Trust allows your team to adjust to any situation without wasting time, which is crucial because of the pandemic.
A leader who wants to introduce a more agile goal system to the team has many options. From the IMSA Search perspective, the more opportunities for employee empowerment system, the better. One suggestion may be a CLEAR system, which stands for collaborative, limited in scope, emotional, appreciable, and refinable. The approach was developed by Olympic medalist and entrepreneur Adam Kreek. It allows workers to take part in the goal-setting process, which supports building a trust culture in the company.
Coaching and ongoing conversations
The way leader gives feedback and evaluates employees has changed. At the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many argued that leaders should stop assessing employees. Today, everyone is aware that the coronavirus spread won’t be stopped soon, so leaders had to developed new approaches.
In many situations, managers and CEOs have to deal with organising fair rules for people who are working in different systems. Remote work has changed the work environment for good. But, on the other hand, many people are going back to the office with a sense of relief. Conducting meaningful management with so many variable factors is incredibly tricky. As Ben Wigert and Heather Barrett wrote for Gallup: “The only viable management style going forward will be ongoing coaching conversations that establish a rhythm of collaboration and create shared accountability for performance and development.”
Leaders and CEOs should treat the current situation as an occasion for practicing listening skills. The general rule is, the more time employees spend working remotely, the more feedback they need. And it’s not only about checking their progress but also about being in touch. Many people suffer from loneliness and anxiety, and modern leaders need to take it into consideration. We all need extra support, empathy and human contact.