With the passing of each day, news about the COVID-19 pandemic continues to put undue stress on people’s lives; threatening both their jobs and their health. It has also created new challenges for company executives since most have not experienced an economic crisis of this magnitude since 2009. As a result, everyone ranging from the company leadership to the employees are seeking answers to questions that simply cannot be answered with certainty. When will this end? How will it affect my work? How will the company be affected?
By building team unity while communicating tough decisions, company leaders must implement strategies that will not only keep everyone united but also focused on their work. This will help leaders pull their teams out of “doom surfing”- a persistent search for grim news.
Listed below are a few noteworthy approaches that leaders can use with their respective teams:
When downsizing, tell the truth and treat them like adults. Give people the good and bad news. When communicating lay-offs, be transparent and tell them how those tough decisions protect them as well as your customers.
Even in this time, do not accept mediocrity. Challenge your teams to fix every problem within their sphere of influence. By not accepting lack-luster performance, you are messaging to your employees that your company is secure and you, as their leader, are resilient. They need to hear this from you.
Reinforce Company Values
During this COVID-19 crisis, you can use your company’s core values to help you anchor your team through the challenges ahead. This approach helps to build credibility and trust amongst your team. As a leader, you can discuss how company values are guiding your thinking process and helping make difficult decisions. Looking at it from another perspective, this pandemic will help reveal your company’s culture. You need to communicate to your employees that it’s not about the end result, but how you get there. Success will come at a price, but it shouldn’t be at the expense of the company’s values. It’s about integrity at the core.
Alternatively, reinstating the company’s values helps create a protectionist mindset. In other words, if there’s going to be a struggle, it will happen together.
Keep The Business Operational
The current pandemic has everyone at work questioning the future of work. These discussions can overshadow the company’s entire strategy. As a leader, you need to discuss the company’s operating plan, priorities, and metrics with your team. Keep in mind, your employees may respect you on a personal level, but they’re also depending on you. Your team needs to know that despite what’s going on in the world, you’re still committed to keeping the business operational.
Maintain Open Lines of Communication
A person’s mind is wrought with worries during regular circumstances. These worries are exponential during a pandemic. As a company executive, you need to pick up your communication pace! Answer people’s questions and concerns. During times of stress, there’s no such thing as over-communication.
We are in the midst of a global crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to slow down or terminate their operations. As a result, company leaders face the uphill challenge of keeping their teams united while still communicating tough decisions. Prioritize integrity, reinforce competency, reinstate company values, and keep operational viability. Maintaining stability and enthusiasm of your team is hugely important, because it’s what’s going to make you stronger on the other side.