Thursday, August 27, 2020

The ‘True Leadership’ in a Pandemic: A Time for employers to Make or Break their employees

The current crisis has a share of lessons for everyone. The work-from-home setup has created greater opportunity for employers to explore their leadership style.  How bosses handle their employees during this national crisis will talk volume about their leadership skills and how sensitive a human is he that resides behind those fancy official titles and positions. 

The one who realizes it earlier and acts accordingly shall rise and shine. The one who wants to still act bossy will soon be left all alone. Every employer at this moment must go extra mile to make their employees feel supported. Dictatorial style in Human Resource management may prove costly. All decisions endorsed by management must be based on mutual consensus, transparency and the comfortability of the employees, and the convenient and continued service to clients must be the bed rock while making all decisions. Such was a decision proposed by Gup and unanimously agreed by landlords of Dagapela who recently waived off rent for 35 tenants who depend on small businesses to support their family now affected by covid 19 - A manifestation of a true leadership.

The current situation must not be also slotted as a period for Employee Performance Evaluation or for the Assessment of the daily input of the employees. This isn’t the best time to measure the productivity of each employees. The employers cannot also expect the same level of productivity from their employees every day. Under the given circumstances, what little effort an employee puts in must be unconditionally applauded. The practice of assessment and evaluation will only erode the existing trust built between employee and the employer. It’s also not the right time for any kind of surveillance but have full faith on the competency of the employees and thus extend full support in every possible way. 

All employers need to understand and give employees enough flexibility to perform their assigned tasks from home. It’s an entirely a new work station and with it brings a lot of other difficulties. The otherwise focused employees may be entangled in wide-range of house-hold chores like parenting and helping spouse as well as attain to the needs of the job that brings food on their table.   

The manner how employers handle their employees right now during this period shall greatly determine the employees’ allegiance and loyalty towards their boss and the company they so long worked hard to built it together. Chances are that the employees would never return to their existing jobs if not treated well. 

There are plenty of good leadership being showcased amidst this crisis. For many employers the well-being of employees were their first priority. With dynamic leadership in play, Gelephu middle secondary school had collectively designed their own Self- Instructional Material to help their own set of students. The workload of both teachers and the parents were considered as corner stone in designing their learning material. The offset teaching learning is successfully continued but the workload for both parties were minimized considering the onset of problems caused by Covid crisis. An employer of a private tourism company has been paying full salary to his employees and has assured full payment till the company restarts its full operation. That’s the kind of many ‘servant leaders’ that our GNH country is blessed with. 

After giving 35% concession on tuition fees of our students owing to the closure of school, my school management also provided sufficient mobile data to help the faculty members felicitate online teaching since 9th March. The Principal and Deputy Principals, through text and voice messages, constantly ensure that they are always available to help us out if need arises. These are types of leadership that is required during this trying times.

If one thing this pandemic will be remembered vividly for many years to come will be the sheer exhibition of leadership from our leaders- good or bad. Today is not late, if you bear a fancy title, you too can become that true leader. It's a known fact that things will not be same anymore. This current crisis, I think, will also greatly influence the way many employers showcase their leadership styles in post-Covid set up making them invest more time and money for the well-being of their hardworking employees -  Employer for Employee and not always  Employee for Employer! 

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