If you are like the thousands of leaders, managers, SME's looking for guidance as to how to best move through this insidious pandemic and emerge stronger, turn your attention to the experts in all of this.... teachers.
A recent study by Monash University in partnership with several countries (Austria, Bangladesh, India, New Zealand, Italy, Canada and Spain), sought to identify how teachers responded to the challenges to inclusive education posed by COVID-19. Teachers have undoubtedly trailblazed in their leading and managing their students and families through this with exceptional creativity and adaptability.
This research can serve as an evidence based guide for SME's and organisations who are seeking ways to improve the mental health and wellbeing as well as boost productivity of their employees. This research demonstrates that by creating conditions where professional knowledge and skills are enhanced, where effective leadership exists, at all levels, and where the entire business is working interdependently the collective pursuit of better outcomes is achieved.
This research suggests 5 crucial elements to the success in meeting these outcomes.
1. Building strong connections via multiple modalities (e.g phone calls, emails and messaging). These connections need to be both formal and informal. Informal chats can still be professional and need not cross boundaries. These are framed more in the sharing of interests and generates a sense of compassion. Exceptional leaders don’t fear vulnerability and are willing to share with their employees and teams.
2. Ensure there is equitable access to the technology and resources needed to get the job done.
3. Adoption of a 'Distributed Leadership style' which builds on strengths and allows for more autonomy is key in these uncertain times. Distributed leadership means mobilising leadership expertise at all levels in the business in order to generate more opportunities for change and to build the capacity for improvement. The emphasis is upon interdependent interactionand practice rather than individual and independent actions associated with those with formal leadership roles or responsibilities.
4. Acknowledge personal contribution to the work (this is so important right now), praise and make it known when someone has worked hard or 'gone the extra mile'.
5. Create and generate regular conversations that bring to conscious awareness the reason or the 'why' they are doing what they are doing. This will help with maintaining motivation, improving focus and generating problem solving.
"Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress; working hard for something we love is called passion." Simon Sinek
Exceptional organisational performance is not a random event; instead, exceptional performance is achieved through careful planning, design and ‘discipline’. It requires organisational alignment, mutual understanding and flexibility, rather than rigidity, prescription or coercion.
If you would like some guidance on how to translate these to your business or teams send us an email email@example.com.
You can read the full research outcomes from Monash University here