Use These Tips During a Crisis to Reset Your Company Culture
Entrepreneur's New Year’s Guide
If you’re on a sinking ship, don’t hide the holes from the crew who could help you fill them. Show them how to help stop the damage so that you can salvage what’s left and be ready for another shot at coming back.
Before you read this, I also want to point you to a book I wrote to capture everything there is to know about keeping your business strong and thriving, even during challenging times. It’s called The Emergency Business Response, available here: www.cardoneventures.com/emergency. If you’re interested in daily updates from me, follow me on Instagram @brandonmdawson.
Mobilize your people and rally your leadership to help you increase your team’s confidence by following the tips below.
You have the most to lose. You know that, but your team likely doesn’t see the work you’re putting in during off-hours. As a business owner, work never stops, and sleepless nights aren’t recognized. Try to make yourself highly visible so that your team understands how hard you’re working.
If you’re asking your team to put in 110%, you’d better be putting in 150%.
Leaders fail when they’re unwilling to do exactly what they’re asking of their teams. And guess what? Your team can tell. It’s easy to spot someone who isn’t all in. Show up the earliest. Leave the latest. Put the time in like you did when you first started in the business.
Obsess over your customers.
As much as culture matters, never prioritize your team’s needs over your customers’ needs. At the end of the day, you want to create a great place for your team to flourish and prosper, but that’s only possible if you’re serving your customers well. Don’t fall into the trap of making your team’s needs your number one priority.
Everyone needs to obsess over customer needs in order to right the ship and get out of the state of emergency. Stay laser focused and instill that mentality in your team every single day.
Schedule daily one-on-one meetings.
Touch base daily with your direct reports. You should do this for 30 minutes. You can do this individually or as a group. Create space for people to share customer feedback and discuss at-risk projects. Use the time wisely and make all conversations centered around the customer.
Schedule daily team meetings.
You can either do this live or remote on conference calls, preferably video. Talk about the wins of the day before and the expected wins of today. Talk about any specific details everyone needs to know. Have your finance person talk about cash collected EVERY DAY and EXACTLY where the organization is compared to its watermark. Discuss any and all selling or cross-selling opportunities to pull cash forward. The meeting should last exactly thirty minutes. By doing this, you will set the tone for daily priorities and eliminate any disconnect between team members. It is the leader’s sole responsibility to ensure all team members are either bailing, plugging, or rowing at maximum capacity.
Recognize efforts. Reward results.
It’s important to encourage people to try new things. New ideas will likely be what pulls a business out of a crisis, but there’s an important distinction between effort and results.
Effort is important because it can lead to the desired result, but this isn’t always the case. Everyone is expected to put in the effort necessary to achieve the desired outcome, but it’s important that you only reward it when it’s attached to a result. You do not want your team thinking that sheer hard work will suffice.
Trying hard will not get the business back to profitability. Instead, use monetary incentives for the results that come from effort. More importantly, you're not looking for lone rangers to save the world. You're looking for the team to work together to overcome obstacles and conquer challenges together. So, make recognizing and rewarding team results a priority.
Schedule recurring all-team meetings.
Depending on the size of your company, have weekly meetings with your entire team to keep everyone up to speed and create a tighter feedback loop for information. Knowledge and data are paramount in these situations, and maintaining transparency is essential for you as the leader and them as trusted followers. Let these meetings serve as a touchpoint for you to update your team on the financial and operational health of the business.
If things are trending upward, these meetings should feel celebratory and encouraging. Acknowledge that everyone is taking the right steps to move the business out of an emergency state.
If the business is continuing to trend down, these meetings should include time to review what’s working and what’s not. They should have actionable steps for each department to take away and work toward before the next meeting. The meetings will be an indicator for everyone of the viability of the company.
Desperate times do call for desperate measures. You can choose to allow your team to help you or permit them to passively sit by and watch the demise of your organization. You can try to do it all on your own, but leadership is defined by the ability to influence others to come together and achieve a shared vision.
Roll up your sleeves and get in the trenches. Your shot at becoming a true leader is right in front of you. You can do it.
Another excellent way to ensure everyone knows how committed you are to your business’s success is by making the investment to learn as much as possible. Sign up for the Crushing COVID Mentor Group program, and you’ve done just that. It’s only $47 to prove your commitment to your team—and yourself. Visit www.cardoneventures.com/mentor.
To learn more about how Cardone Ventures can help your business, visit www.cardoneventures.com.
Follow Brandon Dawson on Instagram @brandonmdawson.