Employees look up to the company leaders expecting them to have all the answers and to have their best interests at heart. Leaders have more influence over their team’s mindset than they realise. But what can they do to use this as a mutually beneficial opportunity to encourage positivity among the staff in their work, and to help them adapt to the change that comes with a ‘new normal’ the pandemic brings?
1. Reset your own mindset.
Leaders should start by looking at the man in the mirror. Be who you are and show it, but adopt a creative and optimistic mindset where you are self-aware, self-confident, self-motivated and self-assured. Remain calm and focused despite an uncertain and volatile environment and enable yourself to lead with clarity and positivity. You yourself must remain constructive and think creatively outside of the box when it comes to changing your staff’s mindset. Followers need a leader who is authentic and can encourage them to be progressive.
2. Trust is important
Respect is earned and when leaders get their hands dirty, so to speak, and become involved in the daily activities and challenges their own employees face at work; employees recognise that they understand their struggles and concerns. Leaders, therefor, gain their trust and their respect because they focus on the individual’s needs. Trust and respect go hand in hand. Leaders with an optimistic mindset are more likely to change or influence another person’s mindset because the leader approaches their own opinions and decisions in a positive manner. This makes it more believable and authentic creating respect amongst co-workers.
3. Inspire and motivate, but don’t force.
Employees need to feel as if they have a say in the matter. If leaders force them to change or bully them into submission, they will definitely retaliate. These employees will then negatively influence others which can have a devastating ripple effect on the staff morale and productivity in total. Rather inspire them. Instead of using force, create a vision for them. Make them see the positive side or introduce a different point of view that they might have overlooked. Lead by example. Try to motivate the advantages the changes will have for them. Convince them that the changes are for their own benefit.
4. Communicate effectively and continuously
Continuous open and honest communication and feedback remains the most effective way to facilitate the change process. It is important for you as a leader to create a sense of ownership amongst your team members. Leaders, who are open to the suggestions of employees’ to change or adapt new developments to their schedules and daily tasks, will be more accommodating and welcome changes more positively. If leaders practice active listening, employees will feel as if their suggestions matter and they will feel heard.
Leaders are sometimes overwhelmed with adapting to the changes themselves. Develop smaller and diverse teams and first focus on influencing their mindsets in a positive way. Empower and connect them while leading with transparency. If you are able to influence your employees’ mindsets in this way, you will be seeing a lot more innovation, collaboration, and enhanced morale. Changes introduced to make employees’ lives easier, can promote positive results in adjusting to the ‘new normal’ at work.