written by Courtney Lynch

This past year has placed demands on leaders that seemed inconceivable two years ago: transitioning workforces to virtual environments, meeting personal and family needs amidst disruption, upset forecasts, and decision-making in a tremendously uncertain environment.

As if all that change wasn’t enough, there’s going to be more. Specifically, the return to office.

Any leader who’s trying to return their team or their workforce to life just as it was before Covid isn’t going to be successful. The past ways of working are history. You can’t turn back time.

Here’s the deal:

For those who’ve had the opportunity to work in completely different ways than a traditional commute/office/commute manner, most found some aspect of breaking the mold joyful, valuable to productivity, and wellness inducing. Why work to eliminate that upside?

Here’s our guidance: Don’t fight it. Go with it.

If you can influence how people work in your organization, strive for a better normal going forward by:

  • Empowering, trusting, and holding colleagues accountable to performance standards. When you give team members the freedom to choose how best to achieve results, collaborate and connect, strong performers will choose what allows them to perform at their best.
  • Have enough openness, transparency, and accountability in your culture so that it’s difficult for poor performance to go unnoticed. When folks aren’t meeting standards, have the courage to coach them to development or gracefully support them in moving on to a role that’s a better fit.
  • Resist, resist, resist the urge to “legislate” productivity by having administrative rules about where and when someone must work. That may have seemed like a proven path to results in the past. We’ve learned that it isn’t. It’s now an old school mindset. If a job can be done well in a flexible manner, embrace that or risk losing your best talent.

We’re going to need courageous leaders during this period and we’re going to be writing about this more in the near future. In fact, enjoy this quick read by Lead Star’s Angie Morgan as she shares four aspects of courage that leaders need to build right now.

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