As the pandemic deepens and the novel corona virus outbreak sends shocks through the global economy, business leaders are preparing for down-side scenarios and taking action to prevent their business from sinking.
Yes, undoubtedly, the true leadership capacity of a person is tested during the times of crisis. And in the current business climate, leaders need to navigate how to keep their workforce focused, agile and most of all, resilient.
Here are six things every leader should do while running a business in the times of crisis:
Don’t Let Your Emotions Get the Best of You
Leaders invariably find themselves breathing in a stressful and tense atmosphere during challenging situations.
Similarly, the COVID-19 pandemic may take a toll on you physically, mentally and psychologically, causing you to become anxiety-ridden or yell at your team members. Even worse, giving up may feel like an easy way out.
However, at such times, it is important to stop by and think that you have much more control than you believe you do. One of the most powerful qualities of a great leader is their ability to exercise self-control even in the most stressful situations. So, take up the reins of your thoughts, emotions, and the way you grapple with problems.
Additionally, by reminding yourself and your employees of the big picture, you can encourage self-control. If nothing else seems to be working for you, get a good night’s sleep and start fresh the next day. Letting emotions overpower you can only result in your team losing faith in your abilities, leaving them with no light at the end of the tunnel.
Lead With Transparency
Even though tough times may force leaders to have some tough conversations, this doesn’t have to prompt a decrease in employee motivation or commitment.
Hiding facts or details from employees isn’t going to do anyone any good. Plus, they will eventually find out the complete truth.
Therefore, be 100 percent upfront with the details from the very start, so there is no lack of transparency that can be used against you in the future. Instead of sugarcoating bad news, deliver the message as it is so as to keep your employees fully informed.
Trust Team Members and Keep Them Virtually Connected and Engaged
Transitioning yourself away from being a hands-on leader to a remote leader can be a little hard, especially if you micromanage. As a remote manager, you need to ensure you demonstrate a strong sense of trust in each of your team member’s capabilities.
What you need to remember is, many employees may have a hard time transitioning and adapting to an entirely virtual workplace due to unfamiliar distractions. A casual video chat with all your team members on a seldom basis may help strengthen trust, build rapport, and help the entire company stay connected during the pandemic while maintaining social distancing.
Try to create a virtual environment where you can discuss the work and social activities all your employees usually perform in person. For instance, schedule weekly meetings to keep people informed and to make sure the nuances of informal office interactions are not overlooked, especially with those you shared the workplace prior to COVID-19.
In times of crisis, leaders should frequently take feedback from their employees and consider what assurances they need to work from home effectively. Address the questions across important categories such as health and safety, emotional wellbeing, technical support, so on and so forth.
While you might not be able to address all of the things that the employees might be facing, becoming aware and showing compassion on some issues may do wonders and encourage them to push on.
Be a Role Model
In the difficult situations, leaders need to serve as role models more than ever through focusing on others. Servant leadership, which in other words means focusing on the needs of team members, provides a model for helping others internally as well as for fulfilling the needs of customers.
Most importantly, try to set a good example for your employees because it ultimately comes down to your own actions and methods.
Remain Positive to Remain Productive
Staying positive is easier said than done, especially when everything that could possibly go wrong is happening. But when the going gets tough, you always have a choice. You can either let negativity overpower you, or you can choose to do something positive about it.
Maintaining a positive overall attitude during the most demanding times is necessary to keep your team’s morale high, keep them inspired and productive, and push their excellence. Be mindful of the fact that all crises pass. What matters is, how you respond to it and use it as a stepping stone to move forward.
Moreover, subordinates tend to look to their leaders for guidance and support, and observe their demeanor and attributes in the times of crisis. So if you display positivity, it will definitely rub off on your followers, which in turn will create an environment more conducive to growth.