Companies are getting back to business after the Summer. While Spring was marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, we could sense some cautious hope during the Summer, that Autumn would bring a more normal operating environment. Due to the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic we are, however, still facing an environment full of uncertainties and a future difficult to predict.
Even if the situation is far from over, we can already get some insight into how companies, and especially their leaders, coped during the state of emergency caused by the first wave of the pandemic.
The Finnish Institute for health and welfare has through a survey (https://www.ttl.fi/tutkimushanke/miten-suomi-voi/) studied the well-being at work during May-June 2020. Surprisingly, the effects of distance work are to a large extent considered to be positive. Many employee groups experienced less chronic work fatigue and a greater job motivation, while there also was some evidence of an increased boredom. The survey highlights the ability of supervisors to cope during the corona crisis, as managers who have a responsibility for personnel experienced a greater emotional strain than before.
Last Spring, Interpersona also conducted a survey among its own network, focusing on leadership during the Covid-19 crisis. The results show that leaders themselves felt that they managed the state of emergency well. Leaders quickly adapted to the new situation and decision-making was smooth. Distance work resulted in new functional modes of operation and improved time management but caused new challenges in respect of people management. Virtual leadership generally worked well, but respondents were unsure whether there could be long-term effects of a leadership that lacks normal personal contacts and interactions.
The company’s values and culture create a solid foundation for leadership even during a crisis. However, managers are today dealing with significant operational issues at a distance. Leading during a business environment that is uncertain on multiple levels can be especially stressful for those managers who faced their first major crisis as a manager this Spring. Leadership development may not be high on the company’s agenda at the moment, but no manager should be left alone with his or her challenges. Companies should consider offering their managers support and coaching, either internally or with the help of outside expertise. A manager working at a distant, who may be at risk for a burn-out due to the extra stress or be lost due to the surrounding uncertainty is an additional risk that companies cannot afford in the current situation. Please contact Nina (firstname.lastname@example.org ) to discuss further how managers can be supported and coached through this crisis.
Interpersona’s team wishes everyone a successful Autumn!