Times are tough. Navigating through the Coronavirus pandemic, social unrest and coming up on an election that is bound to be explosive. It is not if people are stressed, its when the stress is going to show.
As a business owner or manager, navigating through this time is even harder because you need to show confidence and leadership to your team regardless of how you feel. Below are some tips to help lead through this difficult time. For more information, consultation, team training, or one-on-one instruction, contact ZM Ventures.
Fight the urge to say it in a memo and be visible. Your team needs to see you more than they need your words. The mere sight of you will offer reassurance. Realize that your team is going to need more reassurance than normal.
Expect a lot of questions. Be as honest as possible. If you do not know the answer, it’s okay to say it. Try not to be evasive or overpromise anything. Also, it’s okay to let your team know that there are things you cannot discuss. In general, the best approach is sincerity and transparency.
Put Minds at Ease
One of the best ways to put minds at ease is to validate people’s efforts. Compliment hard work and effort. Also, discuss their future goals with the company. Consider setting long term goals with employees. This will reassure their future role in the firm.
If you are feeling stressed out, make sure to keep it to yourself. If employees sense your stress, they will start to panic. Also, do not bear down on employees because you’re worried. Acting like a drill sergeant is counterproductive.
Clear the Air
If rumors start to circulate, squash them. If you don’t, they will spread like wildfire and hamper productivity and harm moral. Also, some employees are not going to be receptive to your positively. Ask them how you can help improve their work experience. If you can accommodate their request do it so they don’t bring everyone else down.
Everybody handles stress differently. It is a good idea to meet with your team one-on-one. Talk informally with employees to find out what each person needs to stay on track.
Take Care of Yourself Too
Lastly, remember that managers must help employees stay engaged, focused, and motivated while also dealing with their own stress. Be nice to yourself and seek outside assistance. Do small things to clear space in your schedule and in your mind.
Leading through difficult times may not be what you signed up for but it is the new normal for now. Stay positive and know that you are not alone. If you would like to receive manager training, please contact me.
If you are interested in upping your remote management game, check out this how-to article: Manager’s Guide to Telecommuting
Marie Zolezzi, CEO and Founder of ZM Ventures has contributed to the HR functions of many large firms in the Silicon Valley, Intermountain West and the Pacific Northwest. Marie is a skilled HR practitioner with unique expertise in HR business partnering, conflict resolution, employee investigations, one-on-one coaching and organization management. She is also a skilled board advisor to the Board of Directors needing input from an HR thought leader. To contact Marie Zolezzi, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
“How to Motivate Workers in Tough Times.” The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones & Company, 2020, guides.wsj.com/management/managing-your-people/how-to-motivate-workers-in-tough-times/.