Leading a remote team is challenging. Leading a remote team during a pandemic might be close to impossible. So, what can you rightfully ask of employees during times like these?
Not blind loyalty. Right now, you need something different than just allegiance from employees. Loyalty can get lazy—or be misdirected. During changing and unstable times “loyalists” can cause big problems because they resist change and try to perpetuate an outdated culture that could kill the organization—especially while you’re trying to lead an organization through the day-to-day zigs and zags that we’re experiencing.
What about high morale? Should that be your target? The short answer is “no.”
High morale can be an unrealistic goal—given all the uncertainty, stress, and negative emotions. Besides, morale may not matter much so much as results are concerned.
After all, performance is what pays the bills. Not loyalty. Not morale.
What you should ask for is high job commitment. Commitment is within each team member’s individual control.
Commitment works a lot harder than loyalty, and gets more done than morale does. Commitment energizes. It empowers. It inspires creativity and pulls a person’s true potential into play.
That’s crucial, because right now your organization can’t get by anymore with mediocre performers. It can’t afford to carry dead weight or accept half-hearted efforts.
Is it fair to ask for high commitment under today’s conditions? It’s unfair not to.
Commitment is self-nourishing. Commitment gives meaning to work and deepens the sense of self-worth. It offers the best protection for the employee and strengthens your organization. Everybody benefits—and your team members enjoy the richest rewards of all.