As businesses step into a post-pandemic future, leaders need to redefine what it takes to achieve workforce resilience and accelerate the transition to agility for a fluid future.
Whether we are embracing living with COVID-19 or hoping governments can soon align global travel policies coherently, transitioning through COVID-19 has caused a certain level of fatigue.
The year 2021 served leadership capabilities a humble pie as leaders muscle through the marathon of an economic recovery underpinned by the promise of vaccination efficacy.
Director of Sales & Marketing
Grand Hyatt Singapore
How teams showed up in 2021
Despite the business events and hospitality industries experiencing a tumultuous year, there were lessons to be learnt. Charis Choi, Director of Sales & Marketing at the Grand Hyatt Singapore, shares what teams can achieve when working together: “We’ve leaned into our strengths as a team working in hospitality, and that is being empathic and flexible. We’ve learnt that being a team that cares for one another, and a team that keeps on trying together, builds unity and gives us the strength to deal with the uncertainty of these times.”
Institute of Service Excellence, SMU
Although COVID-19 has proven to be a watershed moment, it provided a new sense of awakening, particularly for the next generation workforce. Neeta Lachmandas, Executive Director of the Institute of Service Excellence at SMU, explains her insights: “This group of talent wants alignment between their personal and organisational values besides wanting greater work-life integration. Leaders will be expected to communicate effectively and keep their workforce engaged regardless of the work format.”
Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB)
Chipping into the insights of the future workforce is Nichapa Yoswee, SVP Business of the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB). “A smart and high-performing team would have learnt by now that less is more. Tapping onto the art of prioritising will allow them to focus on impact for our society instead of the size of the tasks,” explains Yoswee.
The mind shift
Taking a leaf from Oprah Winfrey’s comments from a recent interview, “what you go through helps you get through”, businesses with the right team can resolve unexpected challenges as market conditions in 2022 is already expected to be fluid.
The workforce could swing between lamenting and being determined. However, agility is crucial to achieving a balanced state of mind.
Leaders are opening their minds to learning something new that affords a different perspective – especially the ones that could help them overcome mental blocks when the going gets tough.
The lack of travel demand provided a stillness that runs deep, and the ability to strike a balance in life gave her absolute clarity without judgement and false expectations. As a result, she now prioritises spending quality time with her son. What’s different now is that she invests her spare time looking beyond trends in search of a greater purpose to contribute by helping other growing industries.
How do leaders prepare their minds for 2022?
While resilience is said to be more about recharging instead of how we endure, having a sense of balance and a positive mindset seems to be the common thread across all four leaders. “Only take on the necessary, so we continue to yield balance,” said Sinclair.
Choi added, “I will remind myself to be realistic with what I am trying to achieve with the environment we are trading in. To thrive in 2022, leaders will require mental balance when approaching situations that could deplete energy and resources. For example, I have learnt to be more conscious of the consequences of a quick reflex by leaning into my strength of patience. However, in a volatile and reactive economy, knowing how to reflect before responding without compromising efficiency is essential.”
Yoswee encourages leaders to prepare for 2022 with zest and fun. She believes that we will embrace difficulties and use our creativity to help others with this positive mindset, especially through altruistic activities.
If business success requires innovation, 2022 will call for team cohesion. Transformational leaders should lean towards a balanced mindset and know when and how to lift people from their struggles.