No one would want to jinx it, but it certainly seems as though things are starting to get better. The UK government certainly seems to think so, announcing that restrictions will be rolling back pretty definitively. No more masks, no more social distancing, and the return to the office is going to be in full swing. It’s hard to remember what optimism feels like at this point, as any business owner or manager will tell you, but we have worked so hard to get to this point that we all deserve to soak it in for a moment.
But a moment may be all the time we can really afford to take right now. As bright as the future may be right now, we know that there are many more challenges heading our way. As much as we’d like to think the restrictions will stay rolled back, issues like emerging variants and skyrocketing numbers of positive cases mean that we need to be more than a little apprehensive. The impacts of Brexit continue to make themselves known, having given us yet another thing to be worried about throughout the pandemic. Any business with the slightest ties to the EU would have already been anxious. Now reports of job shortages are just the latest issue to be linked to it. The jaw-dropping reports of extreme weather events around the globe are forcing us all to think much harder about what we can do to help push back on global warming. What’s more, we are still learning about the various different subsidiary effects of the pandemic, from the rise in cybercrime to mental health issues.
In short, there are a lot of issues that bosses need to be aware of as we head into the second half of 2021 and do our best to keep our businesses moving forward with both a sense of confidence and a sensible amount of caution. If you’re looking for ways that you can be a better manager in the coming months, here are a few things that you can do to be more aware, be more present and boost your skillsets.
Understand Your Own Strengths And Weakness
Often when we think about the steps that we can take to improve performance, we look for tangibles. We will get to those in just a moment, but one of the most important things that you can do if you want to become a better boss is to take a step back and really examine the areas in which you excel and the areas which need some improvement.
It goes without saying that this kind of self-assessment is not always the easiest thing to do. It’s far easier to say that you’ll go away and spend more time interacting with staff (which is of course very important indeed) than to think about the elements of your approach to your work which may be contributing to these issues. Be brutally honest but remember to look at your strengths as much as your weaknesses. If you have successfully guided a team through a global pandemic, then you are definitely doing something right.
Get Proactive With Your Learning
Once you have identified those areas where you think you could improve, it’s time to start taking some positive steps towards self-improvement. The business landscape is changing all around us, with new challenges emerging every single day. If it’s not the points that we mentioned above causing massive disruption, it’s the giant leaps forward in technology.
We may have learned how to manage a team working remotely over the last year or so, but are we capable of energising them? Of giving them the tools that they need to take your company to the next level instead of merely treading water? Are you the kind of leader that can identify and react to changes not only in the business landscape, but in the cultural landscape? If you are wondering how you can take your skills as a people manager to new heights and learn more about decision making, collaboration and people development, a change leadership course could be the right fit for you. Learning more about the incredibly fluid time we are living in and how you can take positive action will make a real difference to your skillset, and you can try this website to find out more.
Create A Space Where Your Employees Can Thrive
The headline sounds good, doesn’t it? It sounds like something that you would put on your achievements on your annual review. But there is a real skill to being the kind of boss that can nurture their employees through active involvement as well as giving them the room and the confidence that they need to grow and to take charge of their own workflow and achievements.
How do you go about this? A good place to start might be creating a set time and space where new creative ideas are encouraged and current problems and stumbling blocks can be workshopped. Collaboration is absolutely crucial to any productive working environment. But it is also so important to demonstrate to your team that they have the skills they need to overcome these issues themselves and to bring bold new initiatives to you.
Make sure that there is a clear open channel for them to do just that and think about offering incentives for them to do so. But it’s not just about letting them get on with it. You need to encourage your staff to pursue their own professional growth, whether it’s by taking responsibility for a project or by enrolling in some additional learning and training that your business could pay for.
Learn More About Mental Health
As we mentioned in the introduction to this article, one of the most startling developments during the course of the pandemic has been the impact that it has had on the mental health of people of all ages from all over the world. We saw how it affected school children who were being kept home and deprived of their friends and their normal routine. We saw how it affected people who were forced to shield and who lived alone. We are still seeing the impact on people who work from home, and we are learning more about what has been referred to as post-lockdown anxiety, as people are wondering if they are ready to step back outside and get back into the hustle and bustle of a crowd.
If you want to make sure that you are being the best manager that you can be, then learning more about mental health and how your staff may be coping, or not coping as the case may be, with the changes that are happening is of paramount importance. Make sure that you have a safe space where your team knows how they are performing and where they can raise any issues. Ask your employees what you can do to lighten the load on them, whether that is offering flexible hours, the option to continue working from home, or indeed counselling sessions. It is definitely a good thing that we are all talking about mental health more. What is really important is that we learn lessons and apply them.