So far, we’ve just had a small glimpse of 2021, but as many people anticipated, it already appears that challenges lie ahead as the country and the economy try to emerge from the pandemic. But that just means you will need to up your leadership skills game, and maybe even develop some new ways of thinking, because doing so could be crucial to business survival. In the process, you also will need to keep your company’s culture on track as the year unfolds. Here are a few suggestions on how to do that:
- Stay innovative. As a business owner, it’s crucial for you to plan, and fortify your business against any downturn (pandemic-induced or otherwise). One way to do that is to be innovative, always ready to adjust to any disruptions in the market. If your business isn’t doing anything new to make life easier for your customers, you may risk losing those customers to competitors who are quicker to adapt. Often, the groundwork for innovation is laid when you bring in new employees. Concentrate on hiring people who are flexible and adaptable to changing projects and market conditions.
- Stay people-oriented. This may be more critical than ever with so many employees working remotely. It’s easy for communication to fall by the wayside when you can’t pop into someone’s office, see them in the hallway, or chat with them in the breakroom. Despite the circumstances the pandemic forced on your organization, you need to make sure your employees know they’re respected and valued. That’s the real key to a successful organization, culture, and staff longevity. Communicate honestly with your people on a regular basis. Operate a positive workplace with strong values and an even stronger identity, a place that drives business success. Employees achieve a greater sense of purpose and connection when they feel involved and supported.
- Stay project-driven. At Mustang Engineering, the company I helped found, we developed a system where we overloaded on work. Now, we didn’t let that system get out of hand because we didn’t want people to feel overwhelmed. But we did want them to feel secure, knowing that the next project was always waiting for them. And here’s the thing: If employees knew there was another project already lined up for them, they felt compelled to work harder to finish the current project. It’s easier to procrastinate if you don’t have a firm deadline or if there’s nothing that needs attention waiting on the corner of your desk. As the old saying goes, “work expands to fill the time allotted,” and projects tend to drag out unnecessarily. You want to keep them moving at a steady pace.
At Mustang, we had a passion for innovation, culture, team building, and organizational development. Now, as 2021 continues to unfold, it’s your time to embolden your teams toward clear objectives; to think about why your company’s work matters and how you can do it better than anyone else.