For our Ask the Expert conversation, I sat down with my brilliant colleague Naomi Titleman Colla, founder of Collaborativity Inc. We unpacked what a post-pandemic workplace will look like and how leaders can set ourselves up for success. Spoiler alert… the biggest hurdle will be our mindsets and beliefs. You can watch to the complete webinar here.
Here are my top 3 takeaways:
1) Analog and Digital Integration are Key
As organizations scrambled in the early pandemic days to get ‘work from home’ up and running, the emphasis was on home set-ups, security settings and investing in ways to make connectivity possible. Organizations rushed to implement platforms like MS Teams in order to get everyone around the virtual boardroom for meetings, check-ins and social happy hours. In the 10 months that’s followed not much has changed in how we’re leveraging tech to support a hybrid work world. As concerns about connection and collaboration are rising, companies continue to use digital platforms in an analog way. Now is the time for IT teams to integrate closely with the business to enable technology to support this new way of working so that leaders can stop over indexing on managing through face-to-video. Meeting burnout is real and the solution is sitting right in your laptop.
2) The Future is Employee-Centric
Flex hours has long been in the lexicon of businesses pre-pandemic. In a post-pandemic world, organizations and leaders will need to reframe their views on flexibility as a nice-to-have to become a must-have as employees embrace the freedom that working from home has allowed. A “one size fits all” policy and “all or nothing” thinking about return to the workplace is causing many employees to rethink their career paths and the risk of losing your best and brightest is real. Progressive organizations are putting their attention on creating ways to help employees work ‘where and when’ it makes sense to get the work done and shifting the focus from “presenteeism” to outcomes. Setting clear expectations is going to be a non-negotiable core-skill for leaders.
3) Your Mindset is the Biggest Blocker
The pandemic proved to be a big eye-opener to many senior executives who balked at the thought of their employees working from home. Concerns about productivity and performance have been proven to be mostly misguided. Despite this, many leaders are champing at the bit to get their teams back into physical workplaces. To embrace a new way of working, leaders themselves are going to have to do some digging around the mindsets and personal beliefs that they hold around performance, productivity and the importance of physically being in the same space in order for their teams to be effective. Our connection to 90to-5 and the industrial model of work needs a rapid overhaul and the people who will transition organizations to a new way of working are the leaders willing to challenge their own assumptions and beliefs on what success will look like.
To catch the entire conversation, check out our recording. And, if you’re interested in finding ways to transform your workplace, connect with Naomi directly by visiting her website.
Speaking of mindset, on April 13th, I’ll be joined by Maria Brown, head of research at Management Research Group. Maria and I will take a look at why most of us aren’t leading effectively and what we can do to build the behaviours we need to be more successful. Register here.
And for those wondering, our spring Roundtable for Leaders open enrolment program is now sold out. If you are interested in joining the wait list for our Fall offering, you can apply here.
Don’t forgot to grab a copy of my new book The Grassroots Leadership Revolution to get tips on managing your career and building a network of support