The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about several challenges for leaders. The initiation of a hybrid work culture that includes the inception of new routines can be a challenge. Additionally, there is also a need for agility in the workplace. Some industry leaders focus on customers and their demands which include the availability of certain specialist products within a comfortable price range and the ease of access to the products. The new world after the pandemic is filled with uncertainties. According to James Allen, it can be termed a "Dress Rehearsal," where leaders will face many challenges that require using different leadership styles. The constant need for change encompasses technological adaptations, diverse teams, and changing customer perceptions. Leaders are an integral part of the change management process to ensure that work does not stop. The Harvard Business Review states that this is the most crucial time when leadership development is required by every company to survive. The business sector is volatile, where leadership skills and capabilities suited to the current situation are desired. Also, most industry experts believe that leadership development should not be only for a few, but every worker should be trained in the techniques to develop a collaborative workforce.
Role of Leaders in Crisis Management
Crisis management is a process by which leaders take action concerning a problematic situation. Crisis management requires effective decision-making skills. Continuous change in the organization in relation to the rapidly changing economic conditions, problems in personal life, technological adaptation, and political instability are the main factors for the crisis in the business world. Uncertainty in the business can decrease productivity in the workplace if not properly managed. A cooperative/collaborative and participatory management culture is an essence of an effective team. Leadership in critical situations requires a timely assessment of the processes and the ability to establish solutions or take actions to reduce risks. Leadership has the most important role in quality management during a critical crisis. A good leader will assess the situation by highlighting the different problems to motivate their team members.
- A leader functions as someone who creates and lays the vision out for everyone else to see. The vision will lead to creating the duty, and this is the main function of the leader.
- Business researchers opine that participation is a social model which is not only the responsibility of the leader but of every member of the team. However, motivating participation is the function of the leader, and it is up to the leadership style that implements a collaborative environment.
- In a crisis, it is important to learn and to divide work. In this regard, the leader is responsible for sharing information and dividing tasks between his team members. Strategizing and defining the goal is also a part of a leader's job in crisis management. The leader should be a role model and needs to create, organize, encourage and improve skills. To improve your leadership skills in an uncertain world, it is important to take up leadership development training.
Tips to Become a better leader in crisis management
- Understanding Leadership – As a leader or as a corporate sector employee who wants to take up a manager's role, it is important to understand what leadership entails. There are specific qualities and traits that a leader demonstrates during a crisis. Team members and employers look up to a leader for inspiration and support. A leader is who understands how to motivate their team members by taking up specific leadership styles for various situations.
- Leadership Development Training - It is always a good idea to develop your leadership skills continuously. Since the world is changing, our leader's role is also changing, and making decisions does not come easy. For this reason, leadership development training can help you stay in tune with the different leadership styles and behaviors that can be used in a crisis. The training will give you the ability to analyze your strengths and weaknesses and improve them. Training will also teach you how to study a situation and the behavior of your teammates to use motivational techniques to improve teamwork.
- Foster healthy interpersonal relationships – To be an effective leader in crisis management, it is important to support your team during a stressful situation. Foster an environment of trust and cooperation between your teammates. Make sure that your teammates are comfortable voicing their opinions and are ready to support each other.
- Evaluate and change business goals - Any crisis requires a different set of goals and motivators. Evaluate the current structure and strategy of your organization and then change it according to the demands of the situation. Some members might not be good at their current positions, so be assertive and take action to alter the situation for the better. Agility and leadership are important, which also include the evaluation of choices and considering the perspectives of your stakeholders.
- Transparency – To be a better leader, develop your communication skills through leadership development programs. Learn how to engage in conversations with your employees and share constructive feedback. a leader should be direct with their employees and let them know about the importance of the changing situation. Summarize every conversation you have with your employees so that the end meaning is taken away effectively.
Leadership in critical situations can be difficult when you are not trained to study particular situations and use different leadership styles. It is important that every leader continuously takes up several development programs to enhance their skills. In the continuously changing environment, every leader must understand the benefits of leadership styles and behaviors in motivating individuals toward achieving their individual goals.