In times of change there will be ongoing times of uncomfortableness, with tough decisions needing to be made quickly. These times may be seen as a threat to individuals, teams and organisations yet there will also be opportunities. In these times of uncertainty, more than ever, it is a leader’s responsibility to show, that no matter what is happening, the culture people know and rely on will get them through. Even better, it may be the right culture will embrace opportunity and take your organisation to a new and stronger place.
For the purpose of this article the word culture encompasses the shared ‘why, how and what we do in your organisation’ to meet the needs of your people, the organisation and key stakeholders. The term encompasses an organisation’s collective culture, shared values and resulting employee engagement.
Employee engagement is the extent to which employees have positive, proactive views of their work, how much employees feel engaged on a day-to-day basis and the willingness to go “above-and-beyond” typical performance.
Culture can make or break an organisation in times of crisis noting the human brain perceives degrees of threat versus reward in any given situation. Because the majority of the brain’s resources are focused on protection, it is easier for the brain to go into a threat state. However research suggest that when people are experiencing positive emotions, they value opportunity, their collaboration and problem solving abilities are heightened, they are more innovative and creative, and generally perform better overall.
Remember your organisation is made up of unique individual human beings. Each person has the need to feel that it is safe to contribute and risk-take in a team/the organisation anytime, but especially during times of change. A shared positive culture can facilitate positivity and reward while ensuring the psychological safety of your people.
If you are an organisation without a shared understanding your workplace’s culture, start quickly and collaboratively recreating a future focused agile workplace culture for these new times. Simon Sinek has a simple model that could assist you to do this. https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en .
The following table is designed to assist you as a leader to maximise the opportunities presented in times of change through your behaviour. The way you act as a role model and how you facilitate a strong evolving culture will ensure people are your organisation’s greatest asset.
The six core leadership behaviours are supported with quick tips and supporting questions to prompt you. Note there are links to other supporting resources also.
|Leadership Behaviours||Quick tips||Questions|
|Communicate often & openly||
|Provide clarity of purpose, vision, values and strategy||
|The Ripple Effect||
|Demonstrate empathy & trust||
Created Tracey Snape@Fulton Hogan. firstname.lastname@example.org 027 481 4345