Digital Transformation has been a buzzword in the business lexicon for a number of years. In many organizations, very few people understood what it means or what it would look like once accomplished. Standing now at the other side of a 3 month lockdown due to pandemic and facing what could be another 6-12 months of continued upheaval in the business world, “Digital Transformation” has taken on a whole new meaning and understanding.
How much of the organization can accomplish their work entirely via computer from anywhere and at any time? The answer to this is likely a much larger percentage now than it would have been 6 months ago. The answer may continue to grow 6 months from now. As our businesses and organizations ramp back up in this pandemiconomy here are 3 key things to keep in mind regarding digital transformation and how it can help your teams moving forward.
ZOOM! and connect
This word has taken on an entirely new meaning during the pandemiconomy and I refer to it here to mean any networking program that allows you to instant message, hold meetings, have private conversations, share files/screens, and connect in the same manner as the team may have connected in person prior to March 2020. Think of this type of software as the new normal for connecting with your team that may continue to work remotely. Use it to stop by and talk to people in the same manner that you would stop by and talk to people if you shared an office with them. Don’t get stuck feeling like you can only call or connect with someone a single time each day or that you need a meeting scheduled to have a conversation digitally. One of the most important things to consider as we ramp back up in our businesses is to make sure our teams and people feel connected as much as we are able to as if we were all working side by side.
Be Ready for the Unexpected Interruption
With such a large number of people working from home as well as managing their families from home, if you haven’t already met your teams’ children, significant other, or pets, you will. How you respond in that moment will reveal to your team how understanding you are of the situation they are in. How they are striving to still accomplish great things. The adversity that they are faced with. What they are overcoming to continue moving the needs of the business forward. Say “Hi”. Introduce yourself. This gives you as a leader a precious and rare opportunity to get to know and learn your team in a manner you maybe never would have before.
We have all been challenged with a new normal during this pandemic. Be ready to listen as people share and open up with what things have been like for them. Their struggles and pains. Perhaps even the loss of loved ones and the difficulty in not being able to give a proper goodbye. As a leader, being available to your team to help support them will take on new meaning in this pandemiconomy as personal lives and work lives will likely be very blurry for many months to come.
Say “Thank you”
This pandemic has shed new light on just how critical and valuable our people and our teams truly are. The challenges and difficulties your team goes through to make it in to work each day may never fully be revealed but rest assured that everyone if being faced with things they did not need to concern themselves with 6 months ago. Wearing masks, constant disinfecting and hand washing, temperature checks, social distancing, etc. The very simple “thank you for being here today” goes a long way in letting your team know they are appreciated and what they do matters to you as the leader.
Only time will tell if our businesses and organizations will ever resemble what they looked like and how they operated 5 months ago. The ability to adapt and change as well as help our teams to adapt and change is one of the most critical and fundamental aspects of leadership. Now more than ever our teams will be looking to their leaders to help provide context, reassurance, optimism, and confidence as the world around them is in upheaval. Now is the time to rise up and deliver that kind of leadership to our teams and organizations.