How to Keep Your Team Upbeat in a Crisis
Leaders often have to lead their teams through crisis. It comes with the job title. Leading people during the coronavirus pandemic may feel different though.
“The crisis right now brings an extra layer of complexity because of its level of uncertainty and because everyone is working remotely,” Alisa Cohn explains in Inc. “Because of this your employees are dealing with heightened anxiety and distractions. It’s natural for them to feel down, and yet you need their focus and energy now more than ever.”
Cohn offers three strategies to keep your team upbeat in a crisis.
Working during a crisis can make you anxious and working remotely can be distracting. That is why repetition is key. Make sure your team members know their priorities and the context around those priorities.
Cohn recommends doubling or tripling down on communication.
“People easily get off track, so hearing the same message over and over in different formats from different people helps them take it to heart,” she says.
Quick wins are accomplishments that may be small but have a visible impact and are relevant to the priorities of the team.
“When people achieve quick wins, they build confidence in themselves and in their ability to make an impact,” Cohn says. “When you celebrate these small achievements, you signal to everyone that your company is making progress. That infuses a jolt of momentum into everyone.”
There is a lot we cannot do right now. There is no more chatting with coworkers in the break room or networking with colleagues at a conference, but don’t let your team wallow in what isn’t available to them.
“There are plenty of roadblocks right now, but a surprising number of pathways if you look for them,” Cohn says. “When your employees get frustrated or resigned about what they can’t do, encourage them to think about what they can do.”
For example, if you had to cancel an upcoming business trip, look to see if there are online options you could do instead.