Crisis Management Tips on Managing a Team
A crisis can take many forms.
As we’ve learned recently, the one thing they have in common is that they strike pretty much without warning and have major repercussions.
Being prepared and managing your team once disaster strikes is essential.
Here we look at some key ways of keeping on top of any crisis with crisis management, hopefully, turning big negatives into major positives.
1. Acknowledge the Crisis
As a team manager, it’s quite easy to bury your head in the sand and pretend things are not as bad as everyone is saying.
It’s important for leaders to accept and acknowledge the crisis in full, however, as this ultimately paves the way to doing something positive.
It’s probably true to say, the majority of small and medium-sized businesses were not prepared for the Covid-19 pandemic.
The benefit of preplanning and having crisis management strategies in place has never been so obvious.
You can bet your bottom dollar that those same businesses when they get back up and running, will start to develop better contingency plans.
2. Act the Part, Embrace the ‘New Normal
There’s no doubt that any crisis is a hugely stressful time for employees.
As a leader or manager, they will look to you to lead them through the rocky road ahead.
It’s vital to be positive.
The concept of the ‘new normal’ has jumped into the business lexicon in the last few months.
What that means is still uncertain but, you must embrace it, look for opportunities and, above all, be focused on supporting your staff so that they can help deliver vital services as your business moves through this difficult time.
The same principle applies if the crisis is a natural disaster like a flood or fire that puts your offices out of business for a while.
You need to act the part and guide everyone through.
3. Supporting Your Team
Support can take many forms.
As a manager of a team, you’ll have all sorts of staff who have specific needs.
Employees may be working from home and you will need to make sure they have all the software and technical support to do their jobs.
- You should give staff more flexibility, especially if they have a family to look after, as has happened with Covid-19.
- You may have some staff coming back to work sooner than others. You need to prepare and plan for this and be clear about what processes and procedures are put in place to keep people safe.
- It’s not just immediate support you need to focus on but how a lengthy and ongoing problem is countered, perhaps over many months.
4. Focus on Good Communication
Key to successful crisis management is strong, clear communication.
For example, you may want to provide a one-stop online source for all the important information that employees need.
This could include when they can expect to get paid, how they access certain tools, who to contact if they need to talk to someone, what support they get as well as updates on when your business will be opening up and possibly getting back to normal.
Keep your language simple and have trusted mentors on standby who can communicate with and support employees wherever they are located.
5. Act Don’t Procrastinate
With any crisis, it’s important to act and not put things off. Delaying because you are not sure what is going to happen next may seem like a good idea but it can have a severe impact on your business.
- Which parts of your company can still operate even though, for example, systems are down or staff are working remotely?
- How do you maintain contact with customers and keep your business moving?
- What does the future look like and how do you turn it into a positive?
Constantly look to evolve your plans and bring your team into helping uncover solutions that, while not ideal, can keep you operating.
6. Get Your Own Support
Finally, don’t forget about you.
There’s no lonelier place than a leadership or management role when there’s a huge crisis.
Make sure that you reach out to your networks, even if they are outside your business.
Talk, vent your frustration, get advice, build new plans and feel a lot less lonely at the same time.