We’re all having to make changes to the status quo, disrupt our routines, and plan ahead for things we didn’t even have to think about a month ago. You want and need to remain connected as a team and productive. But, more than that, in the midst of so much change, it’s critical to not lose sight of the fact there are some incredible opportunities to innovate and improve performance.

New working environments, structures, and ways of communicating create new perspectives. New perspectives, in turn, create new ideas and new innovations. Not every new idea will revolutionise the way you do business in the short, medium, or long term – but lots of small ideas layered on top of each other could.

Every business owner and leader is (or should be) looking to find opportunity, and recognise and celebrate wins to help move the business forward amongst the challenges coronavirus presents. Engagement Multiplier is no different. In just the last few days, we’ve used new technologies and communication protocols – and we’ve had some great ideas from team members as these solutions have opened up communication between employees that may never have happened before – and thus, both the individuals and business is already more productive.

There’s a fine line between encouraging innovation and keeping the day to day moving. Leaders should resist the temptation to over-manage, over-measure, over-structure their teams. There is often considerable fear on the part of leaders when sending entire teams who’ve never worked off-premises home, and the gut instinct to clamp down could quash innovation and engagement.  It’s a natural instinct and yes, in some cases may be entirely justifiable. But, in the majority of cases, it is better if leaders create the conditions for ideas to thrive – a far more enjoyable, productive, and performance-enhancing state of affairs for both leaders and employees.

Thought starters to help drive innovation and improved performance:

Encourage your team to ‘think outside the box’. A change of scenery can unlock fresh insights and perspectives. It can also help team members to appreciate their normal working environment. Make sure they know you’re interested in hearing them.

Give your team prompts to think of ways to improve business functions once they return to the office. Sometimes a little distance gives clarity as to what isn’t working as well as it could.

Ask for innovative ideas on how to differentiate your business from the competition. This could be your opportunity to unlock hidden potential.

Here are some thought-provoking questions on the topic of performance to engage your employees and unlock ideas, insight, and value. Engagement Multiplier clients can utilise our On-Demand templates on this topic, including the new “Working From Home and Winning” survey that’s available in your dashboards right now.

  1. What can we start doing, or change, to give us a competitive edge against our competitors in the current climate and moving forward?
  2. What matters could we attend to during this period that would allow us to return to the office in a strong position as a business?
  3. What matters could you attend to during this period that would allow you to return to the office in a strong position as an individual?
  4. What should we start, stop, or continue doing that makes us stand out against our competition?
  5. While we wait to see what happens next, we can’t afford to lose sight of our goals, our people, and our purpose. So, we ask you to consider: How can we use this time to create something positive that will last long after the necessity to work from home has passed?

Remember, “we can’t always choose our circumstances, but we can always choose our actions”. In these difficult times, we hope this note helps you take action to help your business and your team.

Editor’s footnote:

As we learn to adapt and operate in these challenging times, we will continue to share valuable insight and experience to help you where possible maintain productivity, connection, and performance.

If, as a result of the challenges posed by coronavirus, you’ve adopted winning working practices that could be shared with our community, we’d love to hear from you.

Image via The Lighting Judge