As I wrap up R.O.L.E. GEMS on leadership, I offer some best practices on leading through a crisis:
- Communicate; over-communicate if necessary – In times of crisis, your employees want to hear from you. Specifically, they want to be assured that you are aware of what’s happening, and you are taking actions to minimize the impact on them and the business. Your ability to quickly size up the situation, formulate a plan, and effectively communicate and implement the plan is crucial.
- Communicate often. It may seem like overkill, but you want to ensure that the official message is getting out, and you are staying ahead of the rumor mill.
- Think of what questions your employees want to be answered and address them quickly, even if you don’t know the answer; at least they know that you are working on a solution.
- Trust more than you have in the past. You may be tempted to put in measures to ensures that employees are working a full day but be careful not to negate their feelings. It may be better to err on the side that everyone is doing what they should.
- Rally around your purpose or mission. How can you use your product or service for the greater good of the country? What can you do to make your employees proud that they work for you?
- Remember that all your employees are vulnerable during this time. Even your strongest employees can be shaken during times of crisis.