The COVID-19 pandemic is a long way from over in South Africa, and we can already anticipate the everlasting impact that Coronavirus will leave on individuals and businesses alike. We are on level 3 lockdown, and as regulations get relaxed, we thought it would be apt to reflect on how this virus has impacted the way SME’s conduct business; how COVID-19 has changed the way you lead.

Apart from the apparent working from home, social distancing and stringent hygiene measures that COVID-19 has ushered in, the virus has also caused many business owners to change and reflect on their leadership style. Here are some of the ways that the lockdown has impacted leadership in organizations.

Emphasis on collaboration

Collaborative leaders value input and ideas from other team members or people in the organization. The collaborative aspect of leadership became more critical during the lockdown because individuals are now working independently at home, and the need to foster collaboration is essential. Sharing ideas speeds up solution-finding and the Coronavirus pandemic threw the majority of businesses in the deep end. The global epidemic resulted in people having to put their heads together to find workable solutions for their businesses.

From determining new workflows to staying up to date with the latest COVID-19 news, as well as finding the right productivity and collaboration apps, finding equilibrium in tough situations is a collaborative effort. Our Pro Email solution has all the collaboration tools that your business needs to thrive when team members are working from home or at the office.

Effective and efficient communication

Communication is essential in all businesses and was one of the biggest challenges during the national lockdown. Due to social distancing and working from home, communicating with team members got a bit challenging without face-to-face interaction. Leaders have had to sharpen their communication skills and find ways to stay in touch with their teams. Staying connected and maintaining teamwork is crucial. And businesses have had to find creative ways to communicate during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Video conferencing apps like Zoom, Microsoft Teams and others saw a rapid increase in downloads and have enhanced meetings, check-ins as well as brainstorming sessions. In the foreseeable future, many people will opt to work from home and have less stringent physical office attendance.

Always be agile 

The most critical leadership take away from the pandemic is to be agile. A year ago, most people wouldn’t have fathomed being hit by a global epidemic and everything that came along with that. The ability to move quickly and decisively is a valuable trait when venturing into business or leadership roles. Part of being nimble is to adapt to change quickly; whether it be a recession, structural changes in the business or a global health pandemic.

Leadership is an evolutionary journey; there is no destination. And sometimes it takes a catastrophic event to allow businesses to interrogate the way they do things. COVID-19 came with some tough lessons along with ample opportunity for self-improvement and reflection.