Leadership in a Post-COVID Era...What Will it Look Like? By Julie Rupenski, President & CEO
The coronavirus has shaken the nature of our work and our industry to the core. Many of us are still in disbelief and hoping for a time when we can return to something that resembles normal. But what will that look like for the Senior Living Industry?
While no one has an exact answer, we do know that Senior Living organizations are being faced with a myriad of rapid changes. As a result, we probably can't go back to yesterday but need to build a sustainable and better version of tomorrow which will take effective leadership.
The COVID-19 crisis has demanded new capabilities and duties from our leaders. They've had to quickly shift how they lead out of necessity. However, this shift could have great potential beyond this crisis especially when having to take on and tackle other big issues in the future.
What Top Leadership Skills Will Senior Living Leaders Need in a Post-Covid Era?
- Adaptability & Resilience. Leaders need the ability to be flexible in the face of new situations. They need the capacity to cope with change, ability to quickly pivot, and ultimately bounce back when unforeseen events arise.
- Team Support. Always have the backs of those who have your back. Check in with everyone to see how they're doing and find out their needs. Keep an open-door policy and make sure they know they're not alone.
- Empathy & Compassion. Leaders of any size of organization must increase their empathy and compassion to help reduce or curtail the heightened anxiety of their staff and reach them. There needs to be a genuine desire and willingness to help them get through challenging times. Without empathy and compassion, you can't build and inspire a team or nurture a new generation of leaders.
- Communication & Transparency. Leaders need to communicate and address any emerging issue(s) with staff and/or residents immediately. During uncertain times, It's vitally important to maintain timely, effective, and accurate communication.
- Critical Thinking. Leaders need think clearly and rationally in order to evaluate information and make informed decisions. Rash decisions and indecisive action will only lead to chaos and harm.
- Tech Savviness. According to Senior Housing News, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed how much the senior care industry lags in embracing technology for both their workforces and residents. Now, providers are racing to implement solutions including everything from Telehealth and virtual care for residents, to virtual meetings and job interviews when hiring new staff.
- Creativity. Leaders need to think outside the box. They need to tap into their creative mindset to steer the organization in the right direction when challenges arise. They also need to be innovators with fresh ideas to chart a new course when the status quo no longer works.
In times of crisis and calamity, everyone looks to their leaders. However, they're looking for a different kind of leader than previously. In this COVID environment, it's about helping people maintain morale and sanity. It's about preparing staff for whatever may come next in the face of uncertainty. True leaders are focusing on how they now need to lead as well as in a post-COVID era.
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MedBest is a national Executive Search Firm exclusive to the Senior Living Industry established in 2001. We recruit and acquire exceptional senior care talent, permanent and interim executives, for all types of Senior Living Organizations and Communities across the US including Assisted Living, Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Independent Living, Memory Care, and Skilled Nursing Facilities.
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