The current crisis we are going through is for organizations a critical moment of truth, not only financially or strategically, but also from a human perspective. It is an ultimate opportunity for leaders to show that “People and Business in Balance” is more than just a slogan on the wall. During our second virtual round table last week, we discussed three essential ingredients to minimize human damage during the crisis. Three elements you must keep in mind as a leader in crisis periods: transparency, authenticity and solidarity.
Transparency about what?
Practical issues (remote working creates the need for new frameworks and guidelines)
The future of the organization
Remote working creates stress resulting from:
As a manager, you must spend enough one-to-one time with your team members outside the team calls. But remain authentic! Show that you are sincerely interested in how they feel and give them recognition for the work they have done. However, please don’t make it an obligatory task on your to-do list. People feel that immediately.
This is mainly related to the temporary unemployment measures you take. It’s essential to show that everyone is in the same boat. Don’t discriminate between groups of employees (blue collars, white collars, management and external consultants). Make sure the impact is the same for each group. For management, this is the ultimate chance to lead by example. It will be much easier for people to accept a salary decrease if the same reduction applies to management.
Moreover, don’t lay off people on an arbitrary basis to safe costs. Maintaining group cohesion is very important in difficult times and afterwards. The negative impact of a partial lay off on the motivation of those who stay is immense. Consider an equal salary decrease for all your team members instead of laying off some of them.
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