Team leaders across the globe have taken on a new role since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Before, the primary focus of leaders was to foster teamwork, drive productivity, and engage their teams. But now, leaders need to move quickly in order to control budgets, ease tensions, and uplift spirits. And throughout, managers must also ensure the health and safety of their teams and manage work remotely.
So how are managers handling this dramatic shift, and what strengths and skills can they lean on to make that happen? Using a personality assessment like The Caliper Profile can provide organizational leaders with the necessary insight to manage through a crisis, especially when used with our new Crisis Leadership and Recovery job model.
What Do Employees Need Most Right Now?
At this moment, employees are turning to their leaders to show them how to respond. They’re looking for guidance, communication, and clarity in a time of uncertainty, but there are 4 basic universal needs that must be met right now:
- Decisiveness — Defined priorities are key when there is a lot of uncertainty in the air. Employees need to know what to prioritize, how to organize them, what needs to be traded for more important matters, and how to act on immediate needs properly.
- Adaptiveness — This is not the time to stick to the traditional way of doing things. We keep hearing about these being “unprecedented times,” and that may require unprecedented action. There’s no roadmap for a global pandemic, so it’s important that leaders can develop new plans of attack to approach unusual circumstances.
- Reliability — With much anxiety and uncertainty surrounding our lives through this moment, being able to rely on our leaders gives us a sense of comfort and ease. Employees need to know that their managers are paying attention, thinking ahead, and supporting their teams as they need, in the ways that they’re needed.
- Engagement — On a similar note, it helps employees to know that someone is looking out for their well-being. This is a stressful time, and we can sometimes forget to take stock of how we’re carrying it all. Leaders should communicate clearly and often, do welfare checks with individuals, and encourage breaks, socialization, and time. Focus on ways to motivate employees, provide positive feedback and encouragement, and connect teammates to one another to build a community.
How the Caliper Profile Helps Leaders Pivot in a Crisis
The Caliper Profile helps managers better understand their own strengths, inclinations, and competencies. Using the assessment reports, managers can align their goals, develop their strengths, and seek out coaching to help them adjust and adapt to their new circumstances.
Our new Crisis and Recovery Leadership Job model uses the Caliper Essentials Competency Reports to help managers gain insight into the key traits that help lead through stressful times.
Instead of approaching a crisis from a reactive perspective, the Caliper Profile allows managers to anticipate the fallout and develop a proactive plan to structure, guide, and lead through the crisis as it unfolds in real-time.
Understanding Crisis and Recovery Leadership
The Caliper Crisis and Recovery Leadership Job Model helps frame the key personality traits necessary to connect with and engage employees during times of stress. More so than normal, leaders must be present, communicative, and strong. What’s more, they need to be able to deliver on the promises they make.
Before managers can effectively lead their teams, they need to take a moment to understand what’s ahead of them and the best way to address it. The Selection Report for the Crisis and Recovery Leadership job model details how an individual aligns with the core competencies required to successfully lead while maintaining morale and productivity. Competencies like:
- Comfort with ambiguity
- Team Building
- Priority Setting
Pivoting at the First Sign of a Crisis
Crises rarely come with fair warning. But, the Highlights Report gives managers a quick snapshot of which skills can make a major impact on their teams, immediately. They can quickly investigate how their own strengths align with the needs of the moment and better anticipate the unique challenges they might face as the crisis confronts the skills that require more focus. By understanding where their own weak points are, they can craft plans that account for and accommodate the entire spectrum of their skill set.
When managers need to move quickly, the highlights report is a critical tool that provides an overview of what awaits them, and helps them anticipate challenges and adapt new solutions faster and more easily.
Recovering from Crisis
No crisis will last forever, but the lessons learned from them can be instilled on a permanent basis. If there is a silver lining to any crisis, it’s the innovation we are forced to learn along the way. The benefit of being adaptive and decisive, is that crisis leadership can uncover new ways of doing things, upending old standards in favor of new ideas. We may learn new answers to questions we didn’t know we needed to ask. This may come in the form of new ways to manage assets, different ways of looking at performance management, or the realization that everyone doesn’t need to be in the office all day every day. Good crisis leaders can use clear hindsight to identify the fatal flaws in the old ways of doing things, crowdsource the best new ways of accomplishing the same task, and enlist the help of their teams to implement it long term. When leaders build strong, trusting relationships with their employees throughout the crisis, their team is more likely to help them iron things out and build new processes as things return to normal.
Recovery requires leaders to see what was working before that needs to remain, what no longer works and needs to be replaced, and what organically occurred that can help them in the future. It requires perceptiveness, problem solving, and action in order to make it happen. There’s always a light at the end of the tunnel, but try not to leave the important things in the dark as the train begins to emerge.
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