At first glance, it may seem that managing a multi-office company, overseeing a merger and supervising remote workers are completely different. However, at their core, all three of these duties have significant commonalities. Taking on the responsibility of any of these tasks will require you to embody a focused mindset, a knack for flexibility and unconditional empathy.
As such, company leaders need to prioritize these qualities when holding a management role. As you keep reading, recognize that the three principals outlined below apply equally to all leaders, whether they are integrating a merger, operating in different locations or overseeing remote employees.
The leadership team must be focused
A strong leadership team is essential, to the point where it can make or break the foundation of your company's success. The best leadership team will be able to provide assistance when necessary, step in as needed and optimize streams of communication within the company.
Additionally, leaders need to master the art of both building and maintaining effective communication with one other. Leaders who cannot communicate with each other will not have the capacity to speak with their staff in ways that are fruitful. Therefore, communication is key.
However, communication is important not only within the leaders' specific office or business location. It transcends their teams and holds just as much importance when they are interacting with the leaders of other offices within the same company as well. High-level conversations about economics, business opportunities and industry-specific circumstances will take place between locations.
As such, leaders must be equipped with the ability to communicate with fellow company leaders in a goal-oriented manner. The goals and conversations of one office might differ from those of another, but on the whole, company leaders must clearly communicate their needs and how fulfilling their goals will contribute to the entire company's overall success.
The leadership team must be flexible
There are going to be significant differences between offices, even if they all are part of the same company. That's because no two locations will be exactly alike, given the fact that the employees, physical addresses and customer bases will vary as a direct result of their respective locations.
So, when managing multiple office locations, it is vital that leaders differentiate between what can and cannot vary across locations. Certain variables — such as the software that is used, the ways in which data is collected and the process of ordering supplies — must be kept identical across the board. Identifying what can differ between locations will make it easier for leaders to know what is mandatory versus what is flexible.
For example, the size of the physical office space, any staffing issues and the amenities offered at a specific location can affect the day-to-day operations of one office without affecting the operations of another. Knowing how to address location-specific concerns is an important duty of leaders.
Yet another benefit of flexibility is the ability to adjust and make changes when necessary. Finding the best way to do something will improve the efficacy of a location, which is a main goal of business.
We are currently in the midst of a significant workforce shortage; therefore, it is imperative that company leaders take the time to listen to employees and take note of the changes they request. These changes can be anything.
A few ideas that might be of interest are the incorporation of artificial intelligence into the business or the desire to stock up on a specific brand of coffee that people in the workplace love to drink on a daily basis. No matter the employees' suggestions or requests, being flexible in the way you're willing to acknowledge the desires of employees and make work an enjoyable place for them to be is a wise move.
The leadership team must be empathetic
The ability to empathize is arguably the most important skill a respectable leader can embody and offer the business. To clarify, empathy is the human ability to not only recognize that other people have feelings but also to understand how they feel. You can practice empathy by connecting with employees, hearing them out, putting yourself in their shoes and imagining what it's like to feel the way they feel.
Leaders who lack empathy are not able to resonate with their employees on an emotional level, which can create a divide between managers and the rest of the company's workforce. This is a less-than-ideal outcome, so prioritizing the concerns of employees will go a long way.
The bottom line is that managing merger integration, multi-office locations or remote workers is possible when you view the three tasks as having many underlying similarities. While undoubtedly there will be numerous growing pains and learning curves as you go through the process of tackling these duties, leaders who accept management positions know that adaptation and effective communication are a couple of the many keys to success.
FIC Human Resource Partners offers a variety of workshops through Nuance Culture Academy to assist you in meeting your professional development goals and help you grow into a communicative, consistent, and empathetic leader within your organization.