If You Lead People Today, Do These 5 Things

Most of us woke up Monday morning to a very different reality from what we were expecting last month – or even last week. Children home from school or university, entire companies working from home, families self-quarantining – and yet somehow, the world is still turning and we’re expected to do our work as usual.

If you are a leader (of a team, yes – but also of a group or even of a household) here are five things you can do right now to ensure that your team stays productive and engaged during this difficult time. If you’re a leader, here’s 5 things you can do right now to ensure your team stays productive and engaged. Click To Tweet

  1. Build your team culture virtually.

In The ADP Research Institute’s groundbreaking Global Study of Engagement, we found that the most engaged workers aren’t necessarily the ones coming to the office every week – they’re actually working remotely 80% of the time. Which suggests that your team isn’t a place that you go physically, it’s a feeling you have in your head and your heart. It is entirely possible to keep  your team feeling connected and engaged during this time, in fact they may even be more engaged because of the flexibility they now have.

  1. Build up your team’s confidence in what they can do.

In your virtual team meetings and connects, don’t use that time to play therapist and connect with everyone’s feelings – that’s not the outcome you’re trying to achieve during these virtual events. Instead, you’re trying to up the level of confidence on your team. The best leaders take anxiety and turn it into confidence. Click To Tweet

Don’t fake it – you don’t know what’s around the next corner any more than your team does. But you can help people know what they can control in their lives. Whether it’s how frequently they wash their hands or how much work they can get done on a particular project, if you help people understand what they can control then their confidence will rise.

  1. Keep doing weekly check-ins with each member of your team.

Now more than ever, people still need to feel a connection with each other. The best way to restore that connection with each member of your team is by doing a weekly check-in where you ask “What are you working on, and how can I help?” Not only will you be keeping each employee focused, but you’ll be giving them that personal attention that they crave. Plus, as a bonus, research shows that the medium of this conversation doesn’t matter, only the frequency does – so rest assured that your check-in over the phone or video-conference is as effective as one would be in person.

  1. Take your own energy seriously, and seek out the people who lift you up.

Identify the people who lift you up, who make you feel better, and reach out to them every week – because your energy and emotional health is just as important as your employees’. Figure out who those people are and deliberately reach out to them.

  1. Use this experience to clarify your values.

When you study the practices of great leaders, you learn that they deliberately make sense of experience to clarify their values. If you can find any silver lining in this experience, it’s that it’s an excellent time to learn what you value about work and family. If you have a deep understanding of what you stand for, it will mean more predictability and confidence within your team.

Working remotely doesn’t mean that your employees will be less productive or less engaged, especially if you use this as an opportunity to connect with them in meaningful and constructive ways. So stay safe, stay healthy, and if you can – hug a dog today. It certainly makes me feel better.

22 Comments

  1. Dennis Bonilla March 17, 2020 at 9:08 AM - Reply

    Succinct, clear, actionable advice! Thanks for sharing and amplifying a sense of community for all the remote workers not used to that modality.

  2. Michele Gray March 17, 2020 at 9:11 AM - Reply

    Great advice Marcus …thanks!!

  3. Daisy Tse March 17, 2020 at 9:58 AM - Reply

    Great post, thanks Marcus, when you say reach out to people who can uplift you, I thought of you, so thanks for making these weekly Monday afternoon post.

  4. Arlett Tamplin March 17, 2020 at 10:37 AM - Reply

    These are excellent tips that are very positive and energizing! As a self contributor not currently leading at work, we can all use these tips in some are of our lives. Thanks for sharing and redirecting us to a positive focus, Marcus.

  5. Shelley March 17, 2020 at 12:41 PM - Reply

    Thank you for sharing this during this time.

  6. Sue Maden March 17, 2020 at 1:23 PM - Reply

    A strong and compassionate response to this challenging situation. I’ve already shared this post with everyone I know. Thank you.

  7. Casey Bianco March 17, 2020 at 3:09 PM - Reply

    awesome as always… Thank You Marcus!~

  8. Fidelia March 17, 2020 at 3:11 PM - Reply

    Great teachings

  9. Deborah Crompton March 17, 2020 at 3:27 PM - Reply

    Love ya too Marcus, thanks

  10. Tyrone Lacerna March 17, 2020 at 3:49 PM - Reply

    Very helpful, I would like to receive more tools like this.

  11. Roger Nickhorn March 17, 2020 at 6:23 PM - Reply

    Very good points.
    I believe this should be done this week and also in regular weeks, when it can be made in person.

  12. Sabrina March 18, 2020 at 4:39 AM - Reply

    Very, very interesting. Thanks for this. I never thought about the people who lift me up but you are totally right and I definitely do it and will continue doing it to help with my emotional health and be able to help them with theirs. Stay safe!!

  13. Onno Hamburger March 18, 2020 at 8:15 AM - Reply

    Thanks Marcus. Inspiring video with five crucial points that you make. Best regards, Onno

  14. Janet Johnson March 19, 2020 at 6:34 AM - Reply

    I work in a hotel and help run the front desk and housekeeping departments. The staff in each are so different. How do I adjust for each department. I know they each have goals but honestly if i asked my housekeepers what they are focusing on this week they would have the deer in the headlight look at me. If I asked the front desk they would tell me something about home. How do i get the focus on work and have the one on one with them?

  15. Jona March 21, 2020 at 6:26 PM - Reply

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  16. Sean Isaacs March 21, 2020 at 7:06 PM - Reply

    Not sure how I got to this page. I have so many tabs open :). I think a friend may have sent me the link this past week. The title got my attention.

    Thanks Marcus. Great tips for every leader. 1 or 2 points have helped me to get focused during the Covid19 season. Thanks for your labor of love!

  17. Paul Harris March 23, 2020 at 3:34 AM - Reply

    Great guidance, thank you.

  18. Chiharu Oshima March 28, 2020 at 8:50 PM - Reply

    Thanks Marcus. Yes, let’s turn this experience into the opportunity to reflect and clarify our values.

  19. John Tarpey April 7, 2020 at 10:49 AM - Reply

    Great book Marcus. Loved it. I have a few comments as a former CEO.
    1. The book focuses mainly on team leaders, but many times the perspective shifts between the responsibilities of Executive Leaders (direction and health of the company as a whole), Team Leaders (teams), and Managers (individual employees).
    2. I think Leadership is a thing – it is a system consisting of the Leader, Followers, and Context. The leader puts the system in play by introducing a strategy or some type of organizational change. It then takes on the attributes of the leader. But they have to have a good understanding of each of the components before putting the system into play.
    3. You didn’t touch on Context. In my experience, bad judgement regarding context brings more leaders down than anything else. Leaders need to bring employees and other stakeholders into the equation. That builds confidence and trust. And trust is the ingredient that greases the cogs in the system.
    Thank you for the excellent work!

  20. Vladimir April 9, 2020 at 1:56 PM - Reply

    The team must get from the lieder the next clear goal.
    The team has to get or create itself a road map to the next goal.
    Everyone must obtain a clear place and method to perform own part.
    Transparency is the key to team’s trust in the leader.
    During the trip the lieder must permanently provisions the team member with
    complete information. No hidden topics!
    The leader collects the results and help to assemble individual results into common goal.

  21. Oanh April 15, 2020 at 5:21 AM - Reply

    Thanks Marcus! Really like all , especially 5th point: define what you stand for!

  22. Sam April 16, 2020 at 6:07 PM - Reply

    okay … the dog stole the scene .. had me at ‘woof’ 🙂

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