Inclusive Leadership in a time of crisis.
We have seen many examples of poor conduct throughout the crisis and this will likely affect future employer brand once we resume business as usual. So, how do we ensure we continue to make inclusive decisions that support our brand and not make damaging rash decisions under pressure?
Collaborative decision making
In a crisis there can be a tendency for leaders to revert to less collaboration and reactive decision making due to pressure, the need to act quickly. However, collaborative decision making can ensure risk is managed more effectively. By involving diverse groups into this process, it will ensure we are considering the effects our decisions will have on different communities.
Leaders will need to be adapting their style to ensure all employees are considered and included in delivering a COVID-19 strategy. This includes furloughed employees and key workers who have on the whole much less support than their ‘business as usual’ colleagues.
It is important for leaders to be thinking of the post pandemic impact. If inclusion has not been managed effectively during this period, there will be a significant amount of remedial work to do. Whether that is based on lax recruitment practices, non-inclusive behaviours or employees leaving due to adjustments not being made. Having this forward-thinking approach is key to ensuring the focus remains on building an inclusive culture for the future.
Impact on local communities
Organisations have an opportunity to impact their local community in a more dramatic way. We know that socially disadvantaged groups will be more at risk and that domestic abuse is increasing. At a global level, many countries have unique challenges whether due to poverty, limited opportunity to social distance or limited support for diverse groups. What can your organisation do to contribute to making a difference?
Leaders have needed more than ever to show courage, a behaviour that should be celebrated and embraced moving forward. Making bold decisions has led to some of the most inclusive and community minded initiatives during this crisis so far.
Empathy has been a driving force during this period for leaders, employees and the general public. The sense of community can be utilised and celebrated once this period is over.
Empowering the employee voice in a time of need has proven to be crucial in developing interventions. Valuing expertise, life and professional experiences has led to successful and timely reactions to the pandemic. How can we learn from this approach in the future?
Now is the time for leaders to step up – to be inclusive and be a force for change. We must ensure that inclusion remains a priority throughout the crisis and doesn’t slip behind reactive decision making. By staying on top of your inclusion journey, you can maintain the progress you have made and maintain the reputation of being an inclusive employer during and beyond Covid-19.
Leaders will find a wealth of advice in the Clear Assured COVID-19 toolkit. Clear Assured clients will automatically see the COVID-19 toolkit on their dashboard, new users can access this advice and much more by registering for a free COVID-19 account here