Navigating the changed landscape caused by COVID-19 in the workplace is a skill few were prepared for. From retrenchments and furloughed staff to short-time, work from home and disruption in team structures, the past year’s harrowing requirement for staff and management, no matter what industry, has simply been to survive.
As we come to terms with and settle into this new normal, it’s now become a priority to take a step back and make space to examine and reshape this landscape, to set businesses, teams and individuals up for success, despite the inevitable uncertainty we face going into 2021, says Teresa Richardson, CEO of the newly launched TMR Consulting, which specialises in behavioural analysis in the business environment.
“Our default desire after the stress of this year would be to take the path of least resistance and proceed as if the past year hadn’t happened. In reality, the immense shock to all aspects of the workplace means that it can simply no longer be business as usual and, while it’s impossible to take a firm, fixed view on how to move forward, businesses and teams can take certain steps to equip themselves to tackle the fluidity of the situation so that 2021 is an overall better year for work than 2020 was.”
One of these steps is self awareness, says Richardson, whose background in helping teams thrive in the Tourism and Travel sector has given her the practical knowledge and skills to help businesses deal with unexpected crises.
“By using behavioural profiling tools, we can help teams and leaders understand their own behaviour, as well as those around them more profoundly. You’ll understand how and why people are motivated differently and the what makes each of us unique, helping you to build and restore relationships, resolve conflicts, build teams and maximise communication.”
The focus in 2021 for leaders will be to build trust and motivate teams. “We cannot underestimate the extent to which the uncertainty of 2020 has impacted psychologically our staff and teams, who are craving security, structure, transparency and continuity – a safe space to weather the continued COVID storm,” says Richardson.
Leaders will need to deliver this security, clarity and transparency in their organisation if they have any hope of setting their teams up for success in the new year, she says.
“For your teams to become highly aligned and effective, real communication is going to be key. At the heart of this is self-awareness and the awareness of what is driving the behaviour of others. It’s a small, nuanced difference to any team or company, but behavioural science and analysis can help close the communication and structural gaps that have been caused by COVID-19 in the workplace.”