If you’re a manager, how can you lead your team through the Covid-19 crisis? It’s not easy, but it is possible. Here are four essential problem solving behaviors for managing a team in crisis.
Managing a Team in Crisis
The goal of managing a team in crisis is to minimize the negative impact of a crisis on an organization and to protect the organization’s reputation.
Crisis management is the process by which an organization deals with a major unplanned event that threatens to disrupt operations or cause serious damage to the organization’s image.
Crisis management requires quick decision making and effective communication.
4 Behaviors A Leader Must Have When Managing a Crisis
Four key behaviors that employees need to embrace when stepping into a crisis leadership role during a company emergency.
Behavior 1: They must make quick decisions
Be bold, be reliable, and have good relationships with their crisis teams. Remember that times of emergency can reveal a lot about the crisis leadership abilities of those under you.
Assess who performed well, who underperformed, and why. Determine how roles and responsibilities might change in the future, and assess whether your key players are prepared for their new responsibilities.
You and your crisis management team should:
Crisis leadership should prioritize their issues, communicate the top priorities, ensure alignment, and make adjustments as things progress. They should also make strategic decisions, know who the decision-makers are, and take action.
Behavior 2. Adapt Boldly.
Leaders should always be looking for input from diverse sources in order to make the best decisions possible. They shouldn’t be afraid to admit when they don’t know something, and should instead bring in outside experts to help them out.
You and your team should:
- Be decisive. In crisis situations, people look to their leaders for guidance and reassurance. The best leaders make decisions quickly, even if they are not perfect. They also communicate those decisions throughout the organization as early and often as possible.
- Be compassionate. A crisis can be an emotional roller coaster for employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders. Leaders must show empathy and concern for others’ well-being while maintaining a clear head and staying focused on the task at hand: getting through the crisis and emerging stronger on the other side.
Behavior 3: Taking personal responsibility in a crisis
The best leaders are able to take charge and deal with challenges that are outside of their direct influence.
They can help you align your team’s focus, goals, and accountability.
You and your sales team should:
- Daily alignment and situational awareness are keys to successfully managing a pandemic. Stay in touch with your members, share priorities, and update the “Hit List” every day or every week.
- Set up key performance metrics to track the success of your outbound sales strategy.
- Take care of yourself by maintaining a regular routine of exercise, eating right, and getting enough sleep.
Behavior 4: Impactful engagement.
In a crisis, no job is more vital than making sure your members are safe.
In times when a crisis hits, it’s more important than ever that leaders take care of their crisis management teams. As a manager, you must understand that your employees are dealing with a lot of stress, but find a way to engage and motivate them. Be sure to clearly and effectively communicate any new information so that everyone is on the same track.
You and your sales team should:
- It’s important for leaders to connect with their crisis management team members on a personal level, especially during times of crisis.
- Managers should reach out to their crisis management teams every day, and block off some time on their calendars to do this.
- They should always ask for assistance and should prioritize both employees and customers.
- Lastly, they should gather and reinforce positive feedback from customers in order to stay optimistic.
As a leader, you are tasked with training your team members for crisis management. This requires you to navigate an ever-changing landscape with little time to react to new developments.
Encourage your team to take care of themselves both physically and mentally. This is a stressful time for everyone, so it’s important to make sure that everyone is taking care of themselves as best they can. Be understanding and flexible with your team members. Everyone is dealing with this in their own way, so be patient and accommodating where you can. If you follow these tips, you’ll be well on your way to managing a team in crisis effectively. Just remember to communicate openly, keep things as normal as possible, encourage self-care, and be understanding and flexible – then you’ll do just fine!
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