When all hell breaks loose, a leader's true mettle is put to the test and the choices they make can determine the future of an organisation. Despite the uncertainty, one guiding light stands strong: putting people first. And this means putting their needs ahead of the organisation's bottom line.
The Human Side Of Crisis Management
A company is not just an entity composed of processes and profit margins; it is a living, breathing community of people who invest their time, skills, and dedication to achieve collective goals. During a crisis, the emotional well-being and morale of your workforce take centre stage. When your team feels supported and valued, they are better equipped to handle the uncertainties that crises bring.
How To Be A People-First Leader
Open Doors For Transparent Communication: Clear and honest communication forms the bedrock of any successful crisis management strategy. During uncertain times, your team seeks reassurance, guidance, and direction. Make sure you communicate frequently and openly with them, even if you don't have all the answers.
Walk In Their Shoes: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another person. During a crisis, your employees may be dealing with personal challenges, such as health concerns, family issues, or financial stress. Understanding the impact the crisis is having on them and providing support can make a significant difference in their lives.
Have Flexible Work Arrangements: Traditional work setups may not be feasible or safe for all employees when times are tough. Embracing flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or adjusted schedules, demonstrates your commitment to accommodating individual needs while maintaining productivity. It also enables a sense of trust in your people.
Develop Their Skills: During a crisis, your employees may find themselves wading into unfamiliar territory and doing tasks that they haven’t done before. Providing training and skill development opportunities can equip your workforce with the tools they need to adapt to these changes successfully.
A people-first approach goes beyond addressing immediate concerns.
It involves cultivating a resilient organisational culture that can weather storms and emerge stronger.
Foster A Sense Of Purpose: Remind your employees of the positive impact their work has on the world! Have a conversation about why your organisation does what it does and that everyone still holds the power to bring a positive change even during tough times. Learn to instil a collective purpose.
Recognise And Appreciate: A simple word of appreciation or a heartfelt "thank you" can go a long way in boosting morale. Recognising the efforts and achievements of your people, especially during tough times, boosts motivation and loyalty.
Prioritise Well-being: One thing Covid-19 taught everyone was that your people are important, their health is important. Hence, don’t ever think twice before investing in employee well-being initiatives, such as mental health support, wellness programs, and work-life balance, crisis or not!
In a crisis, uncertainty is the only certainty.
Therefore, a people-first approach must also involve promoting agility and adaptability within the workplace.
Embrace Change As An Opportunity: Rather than resisting change, view it as an opportunity for growth and improvement. A crisis can be a catalyst for innovation and transformation if approached with an open mind.
Learn From Failures: Mistakes and failures are an inevitable part of growing as a team. More so during a crisis. Embrace them as learning opportunities and encourage a culture where employees feel safe to experiment and innovate.
Thriving in a crisis is not easy, but it is possible. Keep in mind that a people-first approach is not just a philosophy; it's a powerful strategy for success.
Psst! This blog was made with💚, lots of teamwork, and edited by a human with some help from generative AI. We're not ones to steal credit. #PuttingItOutThere