In this week’s episode, Chris Ridd talks to author and founder of Australia’s most genuinely connected HR Executive Director’s Network, Justine Figo about leadership, people management and culture during these COVID times. 

Justine’s insights into organisational behaviour reveal that people are working harder than ever before. The fight or flight mode kicks in during times of duress, so it’s not a matter of motivating workers so much as truly communicating with them during this time.  Leaders are just as concerned about their job security at the moment, so Justine’s advice is they need to take a bigger stand and positively influence the work culture. 

“Where leaders have stepped up, continued to set the direction and openly communicated this, while showing care and appreciation for their people, they’ve seen an uplift in their engagement scores.”

While it may seem like an employer’s market at the moment, Justine advises to tread cautiously with that mindset. 

“You want to be mindful of Candidate Care because even though you can’t hire everyone, you should follow up with candidates and be very careful in this market because you can do brand damage. There are many more people looking for jobs who are a lot more sensitive and feeling especially vulnerable, so it’s important to protect your brand.” 

In terms of the work-life balance that has shifted for many during this time, it’s the smart People and Culture leaders who are taking the opportunity to embed flexible work and align it with the team and organisational strategy going forward.

“Leadership can be learned. Give people the skills and the results will follow. Your strategy on the wall becomes actions on the floor.” 

Watch the full interview below.