Being a team leader can be both rewarding and challenging, even for the most experienced managers. Dealing with schedules, conflicts and each employee’s personal situation can make the job feel tough. However, there are also some amazing things that come along with people managing like being able to positively influence people, give recognition for hard work and so much more. When life becomes challenging, whether business related or otherwise, many employees look toward their leaders for reassurance and comfort. This is a great time for leaders to shine! With the current level of global health and economic uncertainty, now is an excellent time for you to use your influence and leadership skills to bring peace of mind and encouragement to your teams. Here are a few tips on how to do just that.
- Be Honest– There is an overwhelming amount of misinformation floating around on the internet. Finding information, whether factual or not, on any topic is almost as easy as blinking. Access to so much information can generate lots of speculation and cause more questions than answers. When people are unsure about their futures, they can begin to make their own assumptions. This translates into unnecessary worry. It’s crucial to be honest with your team as soon as you can. This doesn’t necessarily mean taking a deep dive into your business financials or personal life, but it is important to let your people know what’s going on and how it will affect them.
- Be Factual– During financial hardships, eliminating the fluff is probably a good idea. It also gives you credibility with your team and helps build confidence between you and your employees. It will also cut down on people filling in the blanks when they may not have the answers.
- Get Buy-In From Your Team– Many times you will have to make the hard and fast decisions when you’re a manager. If you can get suggestions and opinions, you might find a creative solution to a problem. You might even receive creative suggestions on ways to continue making a profit, even through economic hardships.
- Have an Open Door Policy– Recessions and economic troubles will inevitably cause some stress and anxiety for you and your team. Give your team the chance to come and speak with you. You can help reduce some of the angst that they may be feeling. You may find that having open conversations with your team is just as beneficial to you as it is for them.
- If Possible, Ask for Volunteers– Depending on your business or on your team, you may have the option to ask for volunteers to be laid off, furloughed, or have their work hours reduced. You might have an employee who is close to retirement and your gentle nudge might be just the decision-maker they need to turn their dreams of living on a sunny beach in Florida, into reality. You might also have people who could use the time to be with children or take care of aging parents. Truthfully, you’ll never know until you ask!
- Weigh Your Options– Can you cut hours instead of laying people off? Are you in a position to pivot your services so that you can stay in business but maybe in a different way? Can you keep your location open by decreasing the hours of operation or by reducing services?
Have a Plan for the Future– Recessions and tough economies are hard. The economy affects us all, for better or for worse. The silver lining is that recessions do NOT last forever. This could be a good opportunity for you to think about ways to expand your business, create a financial safety net for the future, or trim unnecessary costs that will help you get back to business faster and more efficiently than before. Once you have a plan, share it with your team. Be honest and hopeful that although things seem bleak right now, you will all land safely on the other side.