Four Ways To Keep Your Team Committed When Your Enterprise Is In A Crisis
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There is no denying leading a business is highly stressful at the moment, exasperated by the uncertainly of when restrictions made because of the coronavirus pandemic will be lifted. This uncertainly is placing a great deal of stress on a company’s leadership team trying to keep the business viable for the months ahead. At the same time, this situation is also placing a great deal of stress on the company’s employees, which can take their focus away from the roles they are needed to perform, which, in turn, are needed to keep the business on track.
However, to help ease cash flow pressures, business leaders may be forced to take the drastic step of reducing salaries for employees, or in the worst case scenario, they may even be asked to take unpaid leave. But if you are implementing such measures, how can you still keep your team focused and engaged, ready to perform when they are needed? Here are four tips to help keep your team committed:
1. Communication is key The team needs to know what you are doing, and what you need them to do to help. By communicating why you took the decision you have taken, you are likely giving them a feeling of relief that the company is doing all it can to keep their jobs alive. Keep the communication flow going daily, hold daily virtual huddle meetings with those still working, focusing the message on positive steps forward. For those that are on unpaid leave, create a WhatsApp group for the team, where they can ask questions and concerns. Communicate update messages on the chat, and answer all questions as honestly as you can. Keeping the communication flow moving means that you can quickly enable the team again when restrictions subside.
2. Ask for suggestions It’s fair to assume that your team is closer to the day-to-day operations of the company than you are. As such, they may be able to see cost savings that the company can quickly implement, which will make the company more agile going forward. Ask them to contribute ideas and suggestions in this regard.
3. Focus on your company culture Culture is important. If you have a culture where employees enjoy coming to work, and are fully involved/consulted in the company’s growth plan, then they will be more committed to seeing the company perform and survive in any situation. If your culture is poor and the team is not involved in how it operates or its performance, then keeping the team committed to you is going to be difficult in any situation, and only amplified in a crisis. If you have a poor culture, then now is the time to urgently change this. Create cultural team leaders within the company, and ask them what you need to do to keep the team engaged with you and the business. Ask for advice and ideas, and quickly implement their suggestions. Now is not the time to procrastinate.
4. Celebrate success Even in crisis situations, there are times to celebrate. The size of the success may be small, but any step forward needs to be a time to celebrate. Call out those members of the team that have done something amazing, the team members that have come up with an idea that makes a difference. Now is not the time to criticize or manage poor performance- these judgement calls can wait until you are able to get back to work and reflect, but all successes need to be celebrated as a whole team.