A 2022 Reset
A year ago, US GDP dropped by 3.5% (Bureau of Economic Analysis) due to the market disruption during the pandemic. Organizations had to navigate the uncertainty, adjust to remote work, and rethink their objectives and goals. Months later, leaders seem more optimistic as the economy gets back on track and COVID-19 vaccines are widely available. Most business leaders have gained confidence in managing their organizations and even switched gears to the future of business. The flexibility of work, remote, on-site, and hybrid work has provided new ways to be productive and effective within the team. As organizations wrap up this year with account balances, project deadlines, completions, and team meetings, leaders are also planning their next year’s agenda. This blog reflects on tips that we can take on to redefine our goals and competitiveness in the marketplace.
In previous years organizations have focused primarily on profits, clients, and market share. They did not invest much in inspiring and engaging employees to avoid burnouts and job dissatisfaction. COVID-19 affected individual’s health and changed work, bringing a new human perspective that is the importance of caring for individuals, families, communities and organizations. In the business world, leaders adjusted the mission, vision, and goals of their organizations. It is about the team working together, instead of small groups. Considering the knowledge, experience, and background of each employee (from bottom to top) brings new ways of thinking, better effectiveness as a team, and productivity overall. In fact, a study released by McKinsey & Company amid the pandemic, concluded that organizations that better responded to the downside and managed to navigate change were those that focused first on their people. These organizations established a much-needed sense of trust and empowerment. The crisis impacted the organization’s operations; however, these leaders were able to react with flexibility and look at change with innovation rather than resistance. By taking care of the people first and aiming at working together towards a goal, organizations achieved better results than focusing solely on profitability.
Understanding our employees, their needs, strengths, and potential benefited teamwork and engagement. Team building through collaboration brought people together during the pandemic. Many leaders had the opportunity to develop relationships with their employees from a work and personal point of view. At some point, zoom meetings were interrupted by family members, barking dogs or the ring of an Amazon delivery. 5-10-minutes delay of participant(s) attendance during a call or zoom granted a space for honest and spontaneous conversations about personal and distinct topics like hobbies, life events, struggles, or jokes. Flooding energy into our employees, clients, investors, and the community provided organizations the opportunity to grow and become better humans.
When leaders align the goals of the organization to those of the employees, the purpose becomes common. It motivates employees' authentic interest and commitment to the organization. It unifies teams to create a sense of belonging, accountability, and shared responsibility. Leaders are more interested in supporting their people, communicate openly, and cultivate creativity. The individual’s perspectives are heard, and their points of view enrich the organization. Valuing employees and their contribution to the organization leads to long-term and sustainable success.
Michael Jordan’s quote "Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence win Championships” is famous in the sports context, basketball, and it applies to the corporate world.
So what does all of this mean for the end-of-year tip? Business leaders should embrace their people to work on strategies, initiatives, and measurable goals while also ensuring to connect to the human element of their teams.
During this holiday season, leaders may start creating more meaningful relationships with their employees, inspire them to learn, and excite them about their work.
Let's not make the holiday season the only time to demonstrate appreciation of people within the organization, but a starting moment of an ongoing recognition of each other's work throughout the upcoming year.