This year was a difficult one where many companies saw pay-cuts, a drop in employee well-being and the ever looming notion of what next could come our way. Yet difficult times are when we see the true strength in character from those around us - be it leaders, team members or the company at large. During this time many leaders decided to act swiftly to the changing times and led by communicating effectively and empathetically. In this blog we explore some of the learnings from industry leaders.
8 Learnings of 2020 by industry leaders
1. Tools matter by Alvin Tse
The pandemic managed to throw most companies into the deep end when it came to remote working. Largely this was a welcomed change despite it having its own challenges.
Alvin rightfully states that with the framework, team management and collaboration can definitely happen while working remotely! Effective communication goes beyond using your words. It encompasses several other aspects such as non-verbal cues, emotional intelligence, and active listening.
Using tools that make collaboration simpler and keep information collated in one place have been shown to help many companies. When work progress is visible, it helps keep the team accountable!
2. Lead with empathy and clear communication by Vishesh Chandiok
Despite the unprecedented times, Vishesh shares how companies can rise to the challenge and show real empathy and accountability towards their employees. Empathy generates an interest in and appreciation for others, paving the way to more productive working relationships.
Reassuring people of their job and pay security through effective communication and going beyond to enable them to seamlessly be able to continue doing their job, showcases the traits of effective empathetic leadership in action!
3. Re-empasize human values by Aarif Aziz
Aarif Aziz reminds us of the importance of some basic human values that could have been at an earlier time taken for granted. These include humility, resilience and adaptability. Being able to bring the human aspect back was especially critical as it enabled us to recognise and acknowledge those around us.
One could almost say that humility found in simplicity was a learning he hopes to maintain in the future as well.
4. Employee well-being is crucial by Anand Jain
Did you know that 42% of global employees have experienced a decline in mental health since the pandemic began. This makes the role of leaders even more important to ensure that people get a chance to prioritize their mental and physical well-being.
Anand has rightfully put that empathy is the need of the hour and as leaders the main objective is to always be supportive of your team members Simple ways of doing so could be being more vulnerable, model healthy behavior, and build a culture of connection through check-ins!
5. Acceptance and action are critical by Ketan Krishna
Ketan highlights two very important learnings of 2020, resilience and agility. These have been critical characteristics for both leaders and businesses to have during this turbulent period.
Here accepting change becomes crucial as in these ever changing times nothing stays the same for a long period of time. Leaders must be ready to adapt and reevaluate situations frequently, often with limited information or time and then be able to swiftly take decisions.
As Ketan states, both acceptance and action are key when it comes to change!
6. A sense of belonging by Vivek Vikram Singh
A heartwarming learning for Vivek was the immense strength and integrity displayed by his supportive team. For him, the covid crisis was “a true test of whether we as leaders really can walk the talk, and live our values; or whether all of these are pretty words to be written on walls in corporate offices and conveniently forgotten.”
They took a two pronged approach to tackle the changing times. As manufacturing was one of the most tested sectors as remote work was obviously not possible. Vivek recalls, “we decided that all of us, especially the leadership team must show up to work if we are to have the moral authority of calling any other employees and saying the workplace is safe to return to.”
Secondly, they allowed senior management to volunteer for salary reductions within a bracket, where every eligible employee participated without fail!
8. Learn the value of time and relationships by Alok Nigam
Alok in his teachings of 2020 highlights an interesting aspect in terms of the value of relationships and the need to care for those around us! Gone are the days where one could say “I don’t go to work to make friends” especially considering we spend a considerable amount of our time engaging with our colleagues.
Did you know that, effective working relationships have many benefits, namely:
- Improved teamwork
- Improved employee morale
- Higher employee retention rates
- Increased productivity
Which goes to say, feeling a sense of belonging at work is good for business! If workers feel like they belong, companies reap substantial bottom-line benefits. Studies show that high belonging was linked to a whopping 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days. For a 10,000-person company, this would result in annual savings of more than $52M.
8. Adopt an attitude of inclusion by Gaurav Chaubey
Gaurav points out how as leaders - sometimes we tend to overlook that people expect us to be human more than leaders especially in trying times.
It’s time to start including your team to be part of the solution as well as the problem as feeling a sense of social belonging is a fundamental and often overlooked need!
Recent research from BetterUp shows that if workers feel like they belong, companies reap substantial bottom-line benefits: better job performance, lower turnover risk, and fewer sick days.
Let us know in the comments how you or the leaders in your company helped you during this year!
Check out some of our other blogs here, and see if you can learn something new!