Managing in a New Environment

posted by Administrator on 12/09/2022 in Blog Posts  | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
By: Tom Cramer


Many experts in the field of management and human resources are writing and speaking about the unprecedented management environment they are witnessing. Something of a perfect storm over the past decade has encompassed the growing role of a “new mindset” among younger workers, the impact of the pandemic, and the adjustments required in a post-pandemic environment.

Beyond the Great Resignation

These and other realities are forcing successful managers and leaders to recognize two essential facts. First, the situations they face today are different from those of just a few years ago, and often radically different. Secondly, these changes mean leading and managing by the status quo is not an acceptable option.

While elements of the hyped Great Resignation may be media overstatements, it is no misconception that employees are responding to the work environment in a different manner. That means there is a need for a new response to those employees.

Few things are more difficult than modifying or changing one’s leadership style. It is often a matter of conviction: “I got here doing what I do, and they need to change, not me.”

The simple reality is that you can no more rely on that than you can Henry Ford’s great misread of customers when he said, “You can have any color you want as long as it is black!”

Certainly, management environments have changed before, and there is no need for you to panic and attempt a wholesale modification of the principles and practices that helped you achieve success. At the same time, changes as dramatic as we are seeing in the workforce demand some flexibility and self-assessment of how your style works

Tips to Adapt While Maintaining Consistency

Take time to evaluate how the new work environment and employee expectations are affecting your industry and your business. With those insights, work with your senior management, your mentors, and your peers to evaluate how best to implement some of the following steps to adapt your firm’s work environment.

1. Evaluate Your Purpose and Plan. No plan is worth anything unless it takes into account the team you have today and will have tomorrow. Carefully assess your staffing and growth plans, your current capabilities, and the purpose you establish as the “Why” of your company’s efforts.

2. Reassess Your Goals. The thoughtful updating of your plan and purpose will also require you to update your goals and milestones. Evaluate your goals in light of that plan and purpose and consider how it will be received by those who make up your current and future workforce.

3. Communicate Clearly and Consistently. Nothing exceeds the importance of communication in today’s environment. Social media and digital communities are constantly updating the message your workers receive. You must ensure your message is being heard and that it is the message that will achieve the results you are seeking.

4. Establish an Environment of Adaptability. Workers today are increasingly conditioned to expect and respond negatively to rigid workplace structures. It is possible to provide flexibility while maintaining necessary procedures and practices. Look for areas that could and should be flexible rather than simply “the way we do things”.

5. Develop a Culture of Accountability. The steps above go a long way to earning you the right to expect accountability. It takes a focused effort to have your team understand you want the best for them, but that ability to deliver on your part depends on their living up the expectations that are established and they agree to.

6. Encourage a Team-Oriented Decision-Making Environment. All of this feeds into building an atmosphere where the workers are part of a passionate and committed team, not merely “drones working for the man.”

7. Model the Importance of Empathy. All good leaders from all walks of life manifest the ability to empathize with those they lead. Make it a priority to model that characteristic and encourage its active presence in your other managers.