As the world continues to face an unprecedented global pandemic, the architecture industry needs strong leaders more than ever. Strong leaders thrive during times of hardship by inspiring others, alleviating their fear, and providing guidance and reassurance.
A Source of Support
Professionals in architecture need support right now. Employees are worried about their families, their communities, their job security, the future of the industry, and so much more. With so much fear and anxiety, they need to feel that they have support from their firm leaders. To accomplish this, leaders should acknowledge the fear that employees are feeling right now and give them a safe space to vent and ask questions. If architecture professionals don’t have adequate emotional support during these challenging times, employee engagement is going to take a hit.
Give Employees Meaningful Work
Many design firms have switched emphasis to remote work to encourage social distancing. For employees who are now working from home for the first time, they might feel less accomplished than they do when they go to a physical workplace. Strong leaders will make sure they provide employees with tasks that feel meaningful, as opposed to just busy work. Many of your team members will rely on their work to give them a sense of purpose and to give them something positive to focus on. They need a healthy distraction from all the chaos in the world right now. This is also a good opportunity to provide engaging career development opportunities because there are a lot of remote training programs available right now. This will help employees feel like they are still learning and on the right path for advancement.
Lead by Example
Great leaders understand that their team members look to them for guidance and do everything in their power to set good examples. While you want to be honest about your own fears and allow yourself to be vulnerable, don’t dwell on the negatives. Be sure to tend to your physical and mental health and do what you can to stay focused. As a leader, you can’t come across as a mess or your team will become discouraged and unmotivated. Instead you want to encourage your team to take care of themselves and lead by example.
The current global health crisis is going to test the management capabilities of the leaders in architecture and interior design. Great leaders will provide architecture professionals with the emotional support, guidance, and reassurance they need to stay motivated and productive during the pandemic.
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