How to manage your team through a time of crisis

Owning and managing a business can throw up a myriad of issues, and the coronavirus pandemic has brought a host of different challenges that we’ve never experienced before. Times of crisis reveal the true quality of our leaders, how they conduct themselves and their ability to guide others when things get tough.

If your business – like so many others – is struggling at the moment, it can be difficult to see a way through the choppy waters. But instead of focusing on the end goal of recovery, it can pay to strip things back and concentrate on the processes that might allow you to reach that objective. Here are a few handy tips to help you manage your team through a crisis.

Lead with compassion

Remember, if it’s a tough time for you, it’s a tough time for your team too. Hopefully, you’ll have already built up relationships with your colleagues, which will help you to understand their personal situations. The importance of leading with compassion cannot be understated; you need to make it clear that you appreciate their position and concerns and that you’re doing all you can to turn it around.

Communicate often and early

Communication is absolutely vital. Your employees are not stupid – they’ll know if you’re holding back or burying your head in the sand. Instead, opt for an approach of open, honest communication and encourage a two-way dialogue between you and your team. Keep them abreast of all decisions you make, and the reasons for making them, and don’t be reticent to ask their advice. It may be that they’ve thought of a solution that hasn’t occurred to you.

Don’t be afraid to call on outside help

If you feel like you’re struggling under the pressure, sometimes you can cause more harm by ploughing on and trying to come up with the answers all by yourself. Calling on external interim management services is not a sign of weakness; it demonstrates a commitment to helping your business come through a difficult period. A fresh perspective could be exactly what you need to help you overcome the challenges you face.

Stay organised

The fact that your business is in crisis should not mean the processes that have served you well until now should be ripped up. In fact, it’s more important than ever to retain a sense of order and continue to operate as normally as possible. That means staying organised, focusing on the business’ objectives and encouraging your team to do their jobs to the best of their ability. If disorder begins to creep in, the crisis is only likely to get worse.

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