Seven Ways To Lead Strong During Uncertain Times
Your employees have a lot on their minds. They are likely distracted by personal concerns and anxiety, and they might be worried about the future. As a result, they may disengage and feel like the work they are doing is no longer an important part of their life.
Lolly Daskal, president and CEO of Lead From Within, says this is a normal reaction when times are uncertain. Fortunately, leaders can help their sales team members re-engage and refocus. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we share Daskal's tips for engaging with employees during these challenging times.
1. Show emotional support. People who are feeling uncertain and anxious do not want good intentions. They want emotional support and vulnerability, a sense of genuine caring and concern. Daskal says the best leaders work hard to support the physical and psychological well-being of their people.
2. Provide insight and communication. Especially in difficult times, employees want a leader who will communicate and provide clarity. At the core of leadership is the leader's responsibility to calm people down and engage them in a way that provides comfort and assurance along with honesty, notes Daskal.
3. Foster a strong community culture. People often turn inward as they work to cope with stressful situations, but the resulting isolation makes the situation even worse. The cure for isolation and disengagement is community. Daskal encourages leaders to do everything they can to keep their team's community and culture strong, so no one feels they're going through this alone.
4. Minimize distractions. When your employees are anxious, when their work schedules change, when nothing is operating normally it's easy for people to feel scattered and disengaged. According to Daskal, that's when the best leaders step up. They help people focus by setting goals and maintaining accountability—while also remembering to keep expectations realistic.
5. Remove financial burdens. As a leader it is important to emphasize to your employees that you are there to support them. If they need financial support to help them through, be creative in finding ways to provide it.
6. Make sure you're ready for an economic downturn. Daskal admits she has seen unprepared companies get destroyed in downturns. She says the best defense is an engaged and determined team. Help them feel positive about their work and show them the gratitude they deserve for their critical role.
7. Avoid layoffs if at all possible. The last thing you want to do is to lay off employees. Review expenses and debt levels now and commit to resourcefulness and creativity in leading your team and organization through what may be a lengthy recession.
The first step to engaging with your employees is to express through your words and your actions that you will all get through this together. Then do everything you can to keep your company and people engaged and productive.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Lolly Daskal is the president and CEO of Lead From Within, a global consultancy that specializes in leadership and entrepreneurial development. Daskal's programs galvanize clients into achieving their best, helping them accelerate and deliver on their professional goals and business objectives.