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By Eric Fry, Sandler Training

In the world of sales, this term refers to adapting to the client, making adjustments to our sales strategy to fit the client’s needs. The same can be said for running a business; however, that bouncing ball seems to keep ricocheting just as we’re about to grab it. 

Who’s kidding who, a ton has been thrown at us as business leaders and owners in the last half year. Some have chosen to hope this all goes away soon, others have been forced to throw in the towel for a multitude of unfortunate circumstances and yet others have “recalibrated” (the “P” has been way overused) their go-to-market strategy to adjust to the changing times. It can be exhausting but we don’t really have a choice.

Narrative Research recently reported that 52% of Atlantic Canadians that have been working from home during the Covid-19 crisis, and 51% of these workers would like to keep it that way. This will create an interesting scenario to watch as it continues to evolve.

This shift will most certainly present many new challenges in how we lead and manage our people.

In my conversations with dozens of business owners and clients, many are struggling with how to deal with it. “How do I make sure they are working when they are home?  Should I mandate them back to the office?  How can I keep them motivated and not want to leave?  What can I do to be a better leader for my team?”

Every business has a culture – are we creating it or is it happening by default?  Is it the culture we want or is it a culture that we feel needs changing?

I believe this shift is also going to represent a terrific opportunity to reframe our team and organizational culture.

In my experience, leaders want their teams to be accountable and yet our teams want to feel empowered. How do we strike that balance?

My company is in the business of interactive sales, leadership and customer service training and coaching. Fortunately, we have been delivering our services both in-class and online for almost two decades. As a result of the pandemic, we had to transition our delivery to 100% online, to the extent that we’ve moved out of our physical training centre. My team now permanently works from home and our culture has never been stronger.

Obviously, this model isn’t a fit for everyone’s business. Regardless, our teams still need to be led – we want them to be accountable and they want to feel empowered.

As leaders, we tend to put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We regularly manage, hire, fire, train, supervise, coach, mentor, manage clients, strategize, monitor results…the list goes on. It can be stressful!  Wouldn’t it be great if our team Vision, Mission, Core Values, Processes, Accountabilities and Employee Metrics were aligned?  So, everyone was on the same page?  What a stress relief that would be!

All of these elements contribute to creating a powerful and positive culture in our businesses. 

My belief is that these uncontrollable market changes are not going away anytime soon. Things are not going back to the way they were. We need to accept this and get out in front of it.

There are a lot of things that are beyond our control. What is in our control and how can we affect positive change with our teams to drive a sustainable, thriving culture that your employees appreciate and others will want to be a part of?

Are we following the bouncing ball?

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