There’s no question about it: the pandemic took people by surprise and uprooted lives, businesses, and normal life as we know it. We all had to learn how to be flexible, patient, and understanding. The sudden changes required me to take a step back and analyze things that our company needed or did not need. As a leader, I had to be flexible to ensure each team member knew I and the company valued them. Staying connected became more important than ever, as well as maintaining company culture from home.
1. Working face-to-face is valuable.
We had to make a lot of changes to our software and services that I don’t see going away anytime soon. Likewise, the necessity of working from home showed how efficient the team can be while remote. We can work anywhere, but it is important to have the team collaborate face to face. I noticed that since people were at home, they kept working all day, every day. It became a priority to make sure the team was separating work and home life. As day-to-day life begins to normalize, we will continue to do a hybrid version, some days in the office, some days at home. I don’t foresee that going away. It allows for the team to be together face-to-face. There is nothing more valuable than collaborating in the same room as your team, and I am thankful we can do that again.
2. Virtual events can be fun.
Through all the challenges brought by the pandemic, the team has grown tremendously. We not only had to get creative with ourselves to make it through, but our clients also turned to us for help, and we had to get innovative for them as well. A big part of adjusting to the new normal was the shift to virtual events. It was important to stay flexible as we shifted away from in-person productions, and we had to consider how to apply our event planning skills in new ways. We put on successful virtual events with Delta Faucet Company that would never have happened without the pandemic. Our team got serious and went all hands-on deck. Everyone pitched in and found how to efficiently work remotely, and we got an opportunity to showcase our skills.
3. Communication is key.
One of the biggest challenges I, as a leader, had to overcome was simply assuring the team that everything would be okay. Connections are key, but it is difficult to preserve meaningful connections virtually. I found it important to communicate with the team to show that I care and am here for them through everything. It was also necessary to communicate with clients so they knew we were still ready to support them and that we want to keep them and their brand top of mind while being safe in the process. I had to keep the tone and impression that all would be well, while still being transparent about what was going on. Along with that, I also had to make sure we were making it easy on the clients as well as ensuring they were kept in the loop.
4. Trust your team.
At the end of the day, the most important thing I learned as a leader is to TRUST YOUR TEAM. Each team member has a vision: if they have the tools they need, they will do their jobs, and they will give you the information you need. My job as a leader was to ensure that I provided them with the tools they needed throughout all of the uncertainty. The team stepped up time and time again and I accredit a lot of our success to how well they adjusted. We made the most out of a tough situation and learned a lot of valuable lessons along the way.
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