During a roundtable discussion with several senior leaders, I asked them “what is the most significant issue you’re dealing with?” Well, after several minutes discussing the disruptive nature of a crisis, the topic shifted to employee well-being.
Each leader shared how their team members were struggling to cope with the pressure and effects of the crisis. In addition, absenteeism and rising health issues were adversely impacting the organization.
Over the next 50 minutes, we discussed how to lead through a crisis. Then, we examined what actions leaders need to take to support their team while focusing on the goals of the organization.
As a leader, I take time every day to read several articles on current trends impacting leaders. Over the last 18 months, two topics, the well-being of workers and career migrations, have consistently been explored.
Why? Because the stress level of individuals has been much higher over the past 18 months due to uncertainty. As a result, people are struggling, and they are either changing careers or bringing their struggles into the workplace.
So how can leaders take care of their team during a crisis while still accomplishing their goals? Here are seven actions that have helped me take care of my teams during crises, and I hope it will help you take care of yours:
- Give compassion and grace. People are a leader’s most valuable resource. Recognize the impact of stress on your team. Therefore, tuning into the needs of your team is vital.
- Individually connect with team members. Assess them to determine how they are doing.
- Activate your listening skills. During times of crisis, it is imperative individuals feel heard. As you gather information, look for trends and address the needs of the group.
- Bring your team together to share in decisions. Discuss how the team members can support each other to address the needs of the group.
- Empower team members with new responsibilities. Giving individuals the opportunity to expand their skills helps them feel valued and appreciated.
- Schedule time for the team to connect. Create a regular schedule for the team to bond together on a personal level.
- Take care of yourself. Your well-being is essential. You cannot give what you don’t have; therefore, you have to take the time to take care of yourself.
“In time of crisis people want to know that you care, more than they care what you know.“-Will Rogers
Throughout my career, I have experienced many different types of crises. However, the most important lesson I’ve learned was no matter what kind of crisis you may face; if you take the time to take care of your team, they will take care of you!
Are you taking care of your team during times of crisis?