It has been an incredibly tough eighteen months for us all. No one has made it through the pandemic untouched, but anyone who has been managing a team of people will tell you just how much extra strain that puts you under. As the head of your own business, you will have been worried about closures and furlough schemes as well as employee morale and health. The only way we got through 2020 and the first half of this current year was by pulling together and by staying as flexible as possible. We found temporary solutions and workarounds where we could, and we hoped that we could keep the ship steady enough to weather the incredibly long storm.
Now, things are in a state of flux. Businesses have reopened and they have stayed that way. The number of people who have had two vaccination shots keeps going up. We are even starting to go on holiday. But it would be incredibly reckless to ignore the warning signs that the pandemic is not done yet, as the Delta variant has shown us. What’s more, there are issues around the world that have made us keenly aware of the need to build more stability in our businesses, from Brexit disruption to the impossible to ignore signs of the climate crisis. As a manager, it is your duty to set an example and keep your employees feeling like they are part of the team. Here are a few tips to help you be a better boss in 2021.
Take A Look Back
If you want to think about the best way to move forward, one of the best first steps that you can take is looking back. So much of the past eighteen months has been spent rushing. It has felt like we have been working through an obstacle course, and there has not been a lot of time to assess whether a response or solution was as good as it could be.
Take the time now to look at how your teams managed during the pandemic. Was there more support that you could have provided? Was there a group that went above and beyond and showed that they have more to offer in the months ahead? Was there time wasted that you could avoid in future? This kind of assessment may lead to some hard choices in terms of cuts that you may need to make, but it will also highlight areas where people have performed exceptionally well. It may also highlight opportunities and avenues to explore, particularly as so much of the landscape is now pivoting towards digital.
Don’t Forget About The Big Picture
We don’t need to tell you how competitive the marketplace is right now. Every business has been through the same hard times and the ones that have made it to this point are working just as hard as you are to stay ahead. We are all looking for ways that we can use our resources and our expertise to push our businesses to the next level, but sometimes there is only so much that you can do without looking outside your company for that extra support.
Take sales, for example. Because of how incredibly hectic the last eighteen months have been, a lot of companies are focused on the “right now” solution. People are so desperate for immediate results that they are neglecting the big picture. But a modern sales strategy should be looking at how you can make an impact in the long term to allow your business to continue to grow. MO can help you to create a sales strategy with clearly defined goals, priorities, outlines and guidelines that everyone can follow and understand to make sure that you are staying ahead.
Keep Offering Your Employees Support
One of the biggest issues for managers over the course of the pandemic has been making sure that they are looking after their employees. In the most practical sense, that has involved allowing their staff to work from home and helping them to avoid infection. It has also meant learning a lot more about mental health and how to provide the proper support in an incredibly difficult time. We have all got a lot better at talking about how we are doing, and we have learned a lot about how to identify the symptoms of burnout.
As we head through the second half of this year and into 2022, it is going to be so important to make sure that we continue to look out for teams. Keep talking to your staff about how they are doing and give them a safe space to discuss any issues that they might have. Continue to offer flexible working hours so that they can take care of any family issues that may arise. Ask if they would like to return to the office or if remote working is a better fit for them. There will be more challenges to come and your team is one of the most valuable assets that you have.
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