Three leadership lessons for IT leaders from the pandemic
Dealing with the pandemic has forced IT leaders to reevaluate their organizational strategies. In doing so, the pandemic has left them with some lessons that IT leaders should implement to thrive in the long run.
When COVID-19 first hit, organizations were unprepared for the challenges ahead. At first, it seemed impossible to survive remotely in an environment that relied heavily on in-person interaction or on-site work. However, with pandemic-induced restrictions left no choice but to stay, organizations quickly began looking for alternatives.
Now, after two years of the pandemic, organizations have realized that it is indeed possible and to some extent profitable to sustain themselves in the new environment. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, more than 90% of respondents agree that the pandemic-induced digital disruption will fundamentally transform the way the organization runs its business over the next five years. He also left lessons for IT managers that will help them prepare for such longer-term consequences.
Here are some leadership lessons for IT leaders from the pandemic:
Focus on trust
The pandemic has significantly influenced trust dynamics to foster agility. When COVID-19 first hit, many organizations worried about lost productivity and employee confidence, not just those they hired, but also those who had been with them for a long time. But, having no choice but to trust, the best organizations have understood the importance of trusting their employees. This has led successful organizations to treat their employees like adults instead of doubting their reliability.
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Collect feedback at all levels
Faced with a new set of challenges and pressured to find solutions, organizations have turned to local innovation to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic. It has also led to organizations reducing their in-person interactions while simultaneously improving how they track staff and partners working onsite. For IT managers, this means collecting feedback from all levels of the organization. In the near future, IT managers will need to solicit ideas as well as input from employees who are actually physically present. They should emphasize embedding a culture of experimentation to improve processes as well as discover innovations.
Be thoughtful when nurturing relationships
The isolation created by COVID-19 had begun to have a negative impact on employees’ mental health. To combat this, IT managers and other executives began to hold frequent meetings, not to discuss work, but rather to monitor their employees. Organizations will need to actively continue to do so if they are to understand their pain points and build strength. Additionally, frequent and transparent communication has been shown to foster a more collaborative culture and create high levels of trust and engagement while simultaneously increasing employee productivity.