Leadership Challenges in COVID-19 Era

The world is passing through a strangely difficult time that is posing challenges in every walk of life, the leadership being no exception. The vital changes are on the way to reshape the ways of life individual, collective as well as corporate. We surely need to invent new tools to cope with, while refining the existing ones. This is again true with management, marketing, and leadership theories and practices.  The Covid-19 exigencies have put a great deal of pressure on individuals, workers, managers, and leaders. The followings are visible threats that different segments of corporate life are facing with.

Workers

The biggest issue threatening individual workers is a fear of job loss. Many Governments are working hard to introduce plans and packages to ensure job security helping the private sector. But given the scale of challenge all is not well.  If the jobs are intact, the threat of pay cuts and the ceasing of incentives are still making a depressive effect on the workforce.

Managers

They are the worst hit of the COVID-19 culture shift. The managers have to take instructions from the leadership and supposed to implement by getting the work done by the workers. The years-old staff manuals, job descriptions, perk plans, and incentive formulas have overnight been put over the shelf in the archives. Every day now is another day to face, live, and survive even. Only the extra smart managers can now dance on the ever-changing tunes of COVID-19 symphony.

Leadership

The pandemic has taken the toll in all corporate sectors, procurements, production, marketing, supply chain, and all other corporate activities. The leaders are feeling helpless to make and implement their work plans. Only the uncertainty is prevailing at its “best of the best levels”.  It is really a turmoil time for leaders to face and to plan out the institutive solutions. It is high time to harmonize the corporate environment by introducing the new set of corporates values like the following.

  • Faith,
  • Consistency
  • Confidence
  • Hope

The Way out

Even the longest darkest night has dawned at the end. Whatsoever the bigger is a crisis but all is not yet gone. There is a lot for leaders to do. Times are bound to change but what the plans are in hand Sooner or later the world will say goodbye to coronavirus or in the worst case learn to live with it gracefully. Are we not living with armies of many other viruses over the centuries? Incorporating the following values in their plans leaders can create a space for survival.

Clarity in Action Plan

Now you know the issues. So the people depending upon you must know your way to lead. Just have your brainstorming in the meeting rooms but once you arrive at a decision than make it public and implement in its true spirit. The people depending upon you have the right to know the action plan without having any ambiguity in mind.

Employee Readiness

Your human resources are the only best resources that can help coming out of the crisis. Have deep confidence in them. Make them part of your plans. Create awareness among the ranks and files. Make them ready for the worst to face and share and celebrate the best you can get. Train them for the best of motivation and productivity that the new normal is demanding.

Stronger Communication

Communication creates trust and extended communication will extend the level of mutual confidence. Creating organization- wise communication channels will put a soothing effect on the morale of employees. Pass on to them your worries, challenges, and ask them to come back with solutions and suggestions. You will then have a large repository of concerned thoughts, from which you can discover the refined workable plans. Using tools like, WhatsApp, social media, and other communication apps (as, when and where needed basis), can make the uphill task a fund to enjoy.

Dare to Care

Caring your employees is just not leadership but the social responsibility of a true leader. You always must be aware of the issues faced by your workforce and always be responsive to resolute. Working from home is a new norm or a COVID-19 compulsion.  Making the working from home congenial resting with you to ensure. You need to lead from the front so that your back end could be covered by the strong loyal force standing strong behind you. The world is simply a war zone against the coronavirus where a leader needs to prove him a warrior. Are you ready to take up the role?

  • Umar Hayat
  • The author has rich management exposure in banking, textile, and teaching in business administration.