COVID-19 Drove the Bullies Out
Coronavirus demands “vulnerable” leadership
Harm Mannak - 13 May 2020
The impact of Coronavirus on our society, financial markets, and economies is immense, but not always negative. In the middle of a pandemic, research shows employee engagement – an issue puzzling two-thirds of companies for decades - is going up, thanks to vulnerable leadership.
In an ever more digitally connected world, people are the differentiators. Globally, human capital is worth 2.3 times physical capital. Over 80% of business leaders believe culture could be a competitive advantage. Still, leaders don’t know how to manage disruptive change in a “human energy crisis” and adapt their leadership to it. With global engagement levels at 15% before the Coronavirus pandemic started, expectations worsened with the impacts on the economy and the personal lives of employees.
The exciting thing is, the opposite happened. According to a Willis Towers Watson study, the crisis created a level of transparency and trust in our workforce we haven’t seen in decades. The researchers found 90% of companies believe their culture has improved, 83% believe their employee experience is better than before, and 84% believe employee engagement has gone up. At the start of the crisis, 53% of HR teams said their leaders were responding to the leads of others. Coronavirus seems to have changed leadership, the biggest influencer of employee engagement, which has risen to 81%. Coronavirus has demanded vulnerable leadership. CEOs have learned caring for their people is required to get out of the crisis.
Science tells us of all our decisions, 95% stem from unconscious behavior. Thus, management needs new predictive indicators derived from unconscious behavior. Artificial Intelligence and Natural Language Processing offer far better opportunities to get a better grip on the situation.
Business leaders typically fear blind spots and need unbiased information. The ‘truth’ is in the eye of the beholder, and employees don’t say what they are thinking, how they feel about you as their leader, and their psychological safety. At KeenCorp, we analyze natural language text (e-mails, chats) in real-time to identify unconscious pattern anomalies revealing unseen risks. We check written language for tension and personal involvement. The analysis gives you insights into how your people are doing and the effectiveness of your leadership skills.
KeenCorp accommodates leaders by getting unbiased information on the culture and its risks in organizations by language analysis (privacy guaranteed). Leadership effectiveness and profitability improve by a simple predictive behavior KPI.