This challenging time of the COVID-19 pandemic has ushered in a tremendous amount of uncertainty. As leaders, it’s our responsibility to clarify the uncertainty (the best we can) to assure our employees and other stakeholders of a brighter future.
What messages are you sending? Are they getting through?
To make a determination, ask yourself this series of questions:
Do you care about the wellbeing of all stakeholders? Of course you do, but do your words and actions truly demonstrate you care? How do you know?
Do you have a clear plan of action that all stakeholders know about? Of course you do, but is it really understood by everyone? How do you know?
Do you provide regular status updates frequently? Of course you do, but are your messages filtering through to all of your stakeholders? How do you know?
Confirm that the messages you’re sending are clearly understood by your stakeholders. If they’re not, you have important work to do.
To confirm, start expanding the reach of your one-on-one conversations; don’t limit them to those on your management team. Expand them to your customers, your vendors, your frontline production, sales and service associates. Be the leader who is easy to reach and who people are happy to hear from. Ask great questions. This is how you will really know.
My guess is certain leaders won’t pay attention to the importance of the clarity of their key messages about the organization’s wellbeing, status updates, and action plans. If communication on these and other issues related to the pandemic are ineffective, they will experience an erosion of trust, respect, and loyalty.
Remember, leaders who care about the clarity of their messaging are leaders people want to follow. Are you one of them?