Over the past year, businesses have been in crisis. The world has changed, and of course, there is a major health scare looming out there. Most people are struggling in one way or another. As a team leader, you have more things to manage and situations that require your attention. There are just some things that you can’t solve, but you can do your best to build and support your team’s resilience. Many situations require a different approach because things aren’t going back to normal anytime soon. Fresh ideas and real discussions with employees are necessary. Here are some ways you and your team can help yourselves think differently during this crisis so you can manage well.
Check-In With Your Team
Many of your team members have been feeling isolated and anxious. They might be stretched thin financially or feeling the stresses of homeschooling. If you feel that one of your team members is highly stressed out, check in with them often and ask them how they’re doing. You are not expected to solve their problems but sometimes just demonstrating you care about them and are willing to listen is enough.
Forgive Yourself If You Don’t Know What To Do
We are all muddling through this new way of living, and you’re not always going to know what to do. As yet, no one has written a playbook for times like these, and it’s not always easy to come up with the right methods to deal with this crisis’s fallout. When a new situation arises, give yourself the time to figure out how to deal with it. What has happened over the last year has led to changes for all businesses, not just yours. It’s okay to admit that you don’t know how to manage something. Allow your team to help you collaborate or innovate a solution.
Help Your Team Change How They Think
Yes, times are hard right now, and it’s not always easy to see the bright side. It’s up to you, as the leader, to alleviate stress and try to improve your team’s mindset. In any crisis, there are going to be feelings of fear and anxiety. Something that usually wouldn’t get to us becomes the very thing that puts us over the edge. Help your team reframe their outlook by looking at it through a different lens once you figure out what is bothering them. Once you can identify the real issue, you can challenge assumptions and reframe them.
Make a Space Where Everyone Can Learn Through Challenges
Challenges provide learning opportunities, and taking advantage of those opportunities is a great way to benefit from those trials. Many leaders feel there is too much happening at this time to accommodate learning opportunities. In this unstable job market, your team may worry that they should always appear to be busy or fear losing their job. Learning isn’t a break; it’s a chance to be better at your job. Give your team the space to learn and make it part of the job. Promote education and why it’s important to your company. Let them know that it adds value to them, and you fully support this. Ask your team during your next meeting what they’ve learned recently.
Create a Psychologically Safe Environment For Your Team
You want to create a space where employees feel safe and comfortable to share things. If they’re experiencing challenges or have issues, they should feel like they can speak unhindered. When people feel psychologically safe, they are more creative, innovative, and motivated. Everyone is having a challenging time feeling positive and upbeat right now. Your employees should feel safe to say that they need a break from work when pressure becomes too much. If they’re sick or stressed, they won’t execute good work. Make your workspace a place of well-being and see what you can do to support good mental and physical health. Sure, you still need to talk about business, but it’s equally important to tend to any negative feelings your team is having.
Practice Proactive Communication
The pandemic has a lot of us working from home this year, making good communication crucial. Even though your team is dispersed at home, be sure to have team meetings on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Having regular meetings allow everyone to be in sync and feel connected. Communicate with compassion, transparency, and authenticity. Be sure to acknowledge the current events and their impact on business. Share your perspectives and feelings.
It is now 2021, over a year since this crisis began. The key is keeping a positive environment with open communication. Positivity is never going to hinder your business. Your team needs to keep moving forward and dealing with these challenges together. Lead your team through this crisis, do so by nurturing team agility and resilience. Adjust priorities as the market demands, but be proactive in support of your team members.