The COVID-19 pandemic and its associated effects have rattled companies on every level. For leaders, making decisions in uncertain times is difficult, even for experienced executives.
Uncertainty, anxiety, and competing interests make leadership during a crisis particularly hard. Fortunately, there are proven approaches to leading others and mitigating the effects of fear.
Support your organization’s success, your staff members, and yourself through these challenging times by remaining true to core values, a positive mindset, an understanding of those around you, and good communication.
1) Keep Your Employees in the Loop
Companies that harbor poor communication skills leaves employees feeling lost and confused. A crisis can make those feelings even worse.
Do your very best to keep staff members in the loop. Keeping them informed at all times, especially during tumultuous times, can prove to be difficult, but necessary. Sometimes the news you share won’t be good or popular. However, honesty will earn valuable respect and trust that will come in handy when the time comes for difficult decisions.
2) Guide Your Team Members
By definition, business leaders are those charged with guiding their staff members during uncertain times. Being a guide, you must steer clear of rash choices and cutting corners. Guide your team carefully and with compassion, working closely with them, especially during rough patches
A strong first step, is giving staff members clear and concise direction. Also, pay attention to their contributions and ideas – This enables you to provide them with a platform for making useful suggestions.
3) Avoid Paralysis by Analysis
In a crisis, it’s essential to maintain momentum. Remaining stagnant, allows various issues to not only become apparent but potentially exacerbate, as well. It also gives a competitive advantage to those who move forward intelligently. Be prepared to act and make moves even when you must do so without a complete set of facts. Invest a lot of time gathering information from many different sources and move forward based on what you learn. Seek advice from others you trust and ultimately trust in your expertise and experience.
4) Be a Uniter
A sense of belonging can help people feel secure during stressful times. As a leader, you can help your staff members feel safe by bringing people together.
Although it can be difficult during times of social distancing, you must come up with ways to unite your team on a professional and personal level. While it’s important to get everybody on the same page when it comes to business decisions, it’s also important to meet your staff’s personal needs and motivations by strengthening communication and reinforcing personal bonds.
5) Balance Long-Term and Short-Term
During times of instability, leaders usually have to make some tough decisions. In the short-term, they must help everyone continue to move forward, while keeping long-term impacts in mind. Drastic budget cuts and layoffs may be unnecessary and could drive up turnover, ultimately harming long-term competitiveness.
Keep in regular contact with your employees enabling an open forum of communication, while remaining receptive. Some people may be more comfortable expressing themselves in a Zoom meeting, while others may prefer one-on-one emails. Make sure you give staff members several different ways to express their concerns.
We Can Support Your Company Leadership
At NSC, we have been working hard to support our clients through the COVID-19 crisis. Please contact us today to find out how we can assist your organization.