At one point or another your company will be hurdling obstacles that cannot be foreseen. This is not a test of your managerial skills or interpersonal skills, this will test the very fabric of your company. At the end of the day wondering if you are making not only smart business decisions but doing the right thing for your employees and customers. I have put together a few tips that should help you and your company navigate rough waters and maintain morale through difficult times. Remember, a calm sea never created a skilled sailor and your company will pull through.
Communicate and Be Transparent
It is so important that you communicate to your employees not only the challenges you are facing but what your employees are seeing as well. The less that your employees know about what is going on is not protecting them. Doing this creates a disconnect and a feeling of distrust between your employees and your managers, all the way up to you. But this is something we have as business owners full control of. Research on stress and resilience shows that the more your employees know about a tough situation and what is to come, even if it is bad news, the less stress they feel.
Help Employees Develop Self-Efficiency
Self-efficiency is crucial when it comes to handling difficult situations without getting stressed. The more you cultivate this skill in your employees and empower them to take on challenges with what they see is the best plan can make a world of a difference. Provide them with the tools, resources and training to do their job well. Give them opportunities that not only challenge them but if possible provide opportunity for future leadership positions. This proves you have confidence in their ability to handle tough tasks and that they will do great.
Focus on Wins
During tough times your company will want to focus on wins no matter the size. This is incredibly important as your employees need the confirmation that their work is still valued and making a positive impact. You will find that calling out these wins will continue to improve morale and promote an environment of appreciation. This is not only the right thing to do it will also make your employees feel valued which always improves productivity. At the end of all of this we need to focus on what we can control and that’s our employees’ effort, right in front of us.
Treat People, Like People
This often gets lost in the shuffle as hard times bring harder decisions that need to be made. But you do not have to be cold and disconnected during hard times, in fact it should be the exact opposite because people are looking up to you and being that it is your company, you set the tone that resonates through the office. Make sure to pull employees away and engage in a one-on-one discussion on how things are going. The more you do this and cultivate a real relationship with them the quicker they are to turn to you when things are going bad. This is one of the most critical things when it comes to small businesses and leading people in general. When a company has trust in both its management and employees, the more challenging obstacles they can overcome.