City & Guilds has been a strategic partner of MyKindaFuture for a long time. We’ve always been closely aligned with their belief that everyone should have equal power and opportunity to shape their future – wherever they come from, whatever their experience, and whoever they are. In particular, MyKindaFuture has focused on bridging the gap between employer and employee and helping them feel better connected and invested in each other.
With businesses facing a huge variety of challenges borne out of Covid-19, something that is common to them all is finding ways to create a sense of belonging and connectivity with their workforce. This is especially the case when it comes to supporting furloughed staff and retaining key talent so that, when possible, you can mobilise and get back to market both sensitively and effectively.
We know this is something many employers in our network are thinking about, so asked MyKindaFuture (MKF) founder and CEO, Will Akerman, for his insights about how to lead a company supportively during this time.
Emphasise Your Values and Behaviours
At MKF, our team is firmly underpinned by values & behaviours. A monthly staff survey is a great way to conduct check-ins to see how aligned your workforce feel with the company values – especially when you aren’t able to see them every day. Where you might not be fulfilling them 100%, you’ll be able to find out what you can do more or less of. Ensuring your staff are driven by purpose, you’ll be better positioned to tackle what lies ahead.
As much as possible, tune in to each of your team’s personal circumstances. Some will have young children, some may be caring for people at risk, and some falling ill to C-19. Everyone will be feeling slightly scared of the unknown, fearful of job security, and worried about their families.
By acknowledging this openly you can help your team feel reassured. It’s important to share your plans, risks, and hopes for the future – and listen as your staff share theirs.
A Structured Approach
The landscape is changing too quickly for any version of a top-down approach to management. Now more than ever is the moment to let teams grow. At MKF we’ve encouraged every one of our people to let ‘the leader’ inside them shine brightly, and they really are smashing it.
Try an ‘ownership tree’, which provides colleagues with a framework where they feel empowered and confident to truly own decisions, whilst giving them a defined support horizon.
Disagree, Then Commit
As a result of this fast-changing new normal, we’ve seen an explosion of opportunities and innovations – and its important to find space for this to happen and for full and frank conversation – even in a virtual world. For example, regular digital huddles will bring new possibilities to the table, and make sure everyone’s aligned. Encourage active discussion and challenge, but when a decision and direction is made, commit to that path.
Care & Candour
Finally, one of MKF’s founding behaviours is as powerful now as it’s ever been. We must be honest with each other, even if it’s difficult – especially remotely when people can all too easily feel disconnected. But the most crucial thin, as always, is to to always show care and compassion.
The MyKindaFuture employee engagement platform, Connectr, has been redesigned and adapted to support furloughed staff, and help your business. Get in touch with Will on firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how this new technology can help ensure that when teams return to work, they feel engaged and valued by their employer.