Crises in business are rare, thankfully. Nevertheless, they still rear their ugly heads with little to no notice, and employers, managers, and CEOs are the people employees turn to for direction and strategy; they have a plan for situations like this, right? As the future unfolds now, there will be businesses that exude resilience and hold down their forts while others break under the heavy financial pressure. Communicating with your team in troubled times can be overwhelming and confusing due to fast-paced changes and being expected to have an answer for everyone. However, it is an important skill that can make or break internal relationships and the longevity of organisations, so how are you supposed to really speak to your team in tough times?
‘Yet, the fact is, employees, cannot be managed out of a crisis, nor into victory; they can only be led.’ – Simon Sinek
GET ACCURATE INFORMATION
If you don’t have the right information from the beginning, there is no way you’ll be able to clearly communicate to your team what is happening and how it’s being handled. When speaking with employees about the situation, providing misleading data will only turn things from bad to worse and increase the stress amongst the team.
TELL IT HOW IT IS
In order to make realistic, and strategic decisions for the future, it’s important not to sugarcoat the truth. Transparency is vital in holding onto the trust and respect of your employees when things aren’t going to plan. While it’s not crucial that teams need to know every detail of how the business is tracking and the step-by-step plan of attack, it is important they are kept up to date as much as possible to reassure them they are supported and are not being neglected.
EMPOWER YOUR TEAM WITH A SHARED PURPOSE
Through tough times, having hope for better things, having a common denominator, and how your company can make a difference can have a significant boost in the mentality of your employees. Spend time brainstorming on different ways they can help the community whether it’s through charitable donations or a few hours of time. Inspiring teams to have a grasp on the bigger picture during difficult times can lead to great ideas being fostered even when things calm down and things turn back to the future of the business.
MODEL FLEXIBILITY AND ADAPTABILITY
It should go without saying that leadership roles require a certain level of repairing gaps in the workplace at the drop of a hat. Being an example of the effectiveness that comes along with being adaptable will not only give your team confidence in your skills but also communicate to them that staying cool, calm, and collected is imperative when it comes to managing internal or external crises. Make them aware that things will change rapidly, the unexpected should be expected, and organisational and structural changes are quite likely.