In the face of a company crisis, the head of the organization must step forward and lead. Not only does the CEO have to deal with the crisis itself, they must also keep the business running. That means making sure you maintain good team morale.
Everyone inside an organization will feel the weight of a crisis – even those that aren’t involved directly in it. A major crisis can take a lot of time to recover from, so company leadership needs to motivate and inspire employees through difficult times.
Below are some suggestions that might help your company keep morale up during a crisis:
Facilitate collaboration. During a crisis, all hands are on deck. Every team member will want to contribute in some way to solve the problem the company is facing. Pull the teams together frequently — tell them what’s happened, why, and what your plans are to fix it. Then spend some time brainstorming solutions. Ask for ideas and feedback and take notes. Schedule regular team meetings as the crisis is unfolding, and then ongoing follow up meetings as time passes. Most employee morale problems start because of a lack of communication. In a crisis, it’s important to over-communicate.
Separate your teams. Generally speaking, you should divide into two groups during a crisis: Those who will remain focused on the day-to-day operations of the company, and those who should respond directly to the crisis. Assign clear roles to each team member and make sure they have the time and resources to accomplish their tasks. Make sure these two groups talk and coordinate. Again, over-communication is the key.
Be honest. Even when the news is bad, your employees will appreciate honesty. Relaying information to your team should be top priority, over talking to the press. Your team is directly affected by the crisis, and deserves to know as much as possible. Though tempting, closed door meetings will hint that you’re not sharing everything with your team. You have to be discretionary about what you share with your team as to not accidentally share confidential information. However, transparency is just as important when it comes to your team members as it is when dealing with the public.
Sometimes a crisis can bring a team closer together, if it is handled successfully. With good leadership skills and clear communication you and your team can weather any storm.
For more tips and information on crisis management, contact Tucker/Hall.