Back in April 2020, soon after the significant ramifications of COVID-19 began to be understood around the world, Leadership Management Australia (LMA) surveyed Leaders, Managers and Employees via a special Leadership Employment and Direction (L.E.A.D.) Survey.
Eight months on, and with the global pandemic continuing to consume the thoughts of leaders and managers across the world, the findings from hundreds of leaders, managers and employees across Australia and New Zealand remain revealing and insightful.
LEADERSHIP BEHAVIOURS EXPECTED AND DEMONSTRATED
In times of crisis, people look to their leaders for some critical behaviours:
- Effective communication
- Genuine care and concern
- Change leadership
- Composure in the face of uncertainty
Of note, Leaders believe they are demonstrating these behaviours to a reasonable extent – although there are some gaps between what is expected and what is being demonstrated.
|Leadership behaviours expected and demonstrated||EXPECTED FROM LEADERS (by employees and managers) %||DEMONSTRATED|
BY LEADERS (in leaders’ own eyes) %
|Communicating effectively about responding to COVID-19||47||35|
|Showing genuine care & concern for employees’ situations||37||27|
|Leading people through change||31||21|
|Responding and adapting quickly to change||27||34|
|Remaining composed/confident in the face of uncertainty||24||37|
Leaders have tended to focus more on responding and adapting quickly to change and remaining composed through uncertainty. Their focus has been below expectations in three key areas – communicating effectively, showing genuine care & concern, and leading people through change.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR LEADERS AND MANAGERS?
Leaders and Managers need to show leadership in critical areas to lead their people and their organisations through the challenges presented by COVID-19:
- Through communication – being clear, consistent, regular, visionary and reassuring
- Through enacting change – explaining the necessity, engaging the team, seeking input and collaborating
- Through actions – being visible, open, strategic, inspirational and highly active
- Through caring – listening actively and intently, seeking to understand, showing empathy, genuinely caring for your people