During times of downsizing and uncertainty in the workplace, a manager has no more important job that keeping his team in the loop about what is going on while ensuring that morale stays high and the job gets done.
But this can be hard to do, especially when the world seems to be falling apart and everyone is worried about their future. Here are steps a manager can take to lead their team through times of on-the-job crisis.
1. Keep an open line of communication and honestly let your team know what’s happening. Whether the news is good or bad, the truth should never be sugarcoated or avoided.
2. Be aware of lessons learned. Good managers know that the errors that led to the job crisis can be repeated. The cause of those problems should be studied and learned from. It is important to learn from your mistakes so you can overcome similar situations in the future.
3. The way ahead. Be crystal clear and transparent about exactly how the company plans to move ahead in the future. For this message to be effective, your team will probably have to hear it several times in order for it to sink in.
4. Keep it steady. In times of crisis, it can be difficult for everyone to remain calm and not give into their emotions. As a manager, your team is looking for you to lead and if they see you as being nervous and unsure, that will have a negative impact on them as well. After all, as a manager, your team is looking to you to keep a clear head and to make good decisions.
5. Job and people first. If a manager is asking his team to make sacrifices, he must visibly demonstrate that he is sacrificing as well. Never ask your team to do something that you yourself are not willing to do. If you are asking them to work harder and to do with less, as a manager you should be doing the same thing.
6. Use what you have wisely and well. Managers should use whatever resources they have — the talents of team members, equipment, and money — in a way that gets the most out of them. Mimic those who have inspired you.