A crisis can happen at any time, and when it does happen, companies must be able to enforce crisis response measures to reduce its impacts on the company and its employees. These measures should help everyone throughout the crisis and even after it to make it easier to go back to normal.
Any crisis can affect your employees’ performance and overall mindset. As a leader, you must be ready to act to help them and lessen the load they are feeling.
To help you get started, here are 10 ways to show your employees your support during this challenging time:
1. Be Understanding
As a business owner or a team leader, you need to show empathy to your employees as they face this difficult time and show your support. Once they see it, they will feel supported and happy to stay in a team that is always there to help whenever they need it. You can show your understanding by giving them a lighter workload and showing that you appreciate their work even during this tough time.
2. Permit Employees To Deal With The Crisis Head-On
As you take note of the issues these employees face during this crisis, you should let them know that you are ok with letting them prioritise their issues before their work. Keep everyone up to date and urge them to update the team about their situation so you can provide the proper assistance.
3. Help Employees Navigate Through Their Emotions
During a crisis, a person will feel all sorts of negative emotions that will affect them. They may not know where to go to get support to manage these emotions, and managers, team leaders and bosses may not be familiar with handling these emotions.
Ask your HR to teach your team leaders, bosses and managers to handle negative emotions and how to speak about them with these employees so they can cope with them.
4. Don’t Force Everyone To Think “Business As Usual”
A crisis is devastating to anyone, even if they are not directly affected. As their leader, you need to see which company goals or priorities should be dealt with first and focus on them until everyone is recovered from their ordeal. Let your team know which goals will be met first, and regularly update to let everyone know what is going on about your short-term targets.
5. Check Your Employee’s Situation
Sometimes, employees facing a crisis will not speak to coworkers and team leaders because they don’t want to bother anyone or may be ashamed that they are struggling. As the manager, team leader or boss, make it a point to check on your employees to see if they are alright and need help.
Some of your employees may be surprised when you reach out to them and may decline to answer at first. But, if you give them time, they may speak out and show that you are listening as they talk. Even by just listening, you are helping them cope with the stress brought on by the crisis.
6. Create An Operational Plan Focusing On Priorities
Since you are limited in what you can do during a crisis, you should create an operational plan that will help you reach your goals in the best possible way.
For example, you should have a clear idea of who can work on what urgent task and assign them to the right teams while providing them with a schedule they can meet every day. Leave the non-urgent and low-risk tasks later in the schedule or after the crisis has ended. The plans should also be easy to understand so everyone can focus and keep their morale up.
7. Open Communication Lines For Discussions
If you want to strengthen the company’s response to whatever issue it faces, you should take the time to open communication lines between employees so everyone can contribute. Set ground rules for them to follow during these open discussions and regularly schedule them so everyone can get used to it and slowly open up to discussing other topics.
8. Improve Employee Assistance Benefits
Some of your employees may be reluctant to seek financial assistance from the company because of deductibles and copays attached to them, even if they need it to recover from a crisis.
To help them get the support they need, consider improving current employee benefits and removing any barriers that will stop employees from using them. Let your employees know about these new benefits, how to avail them and remind them to use this time to take care of themselves and their families during this tough period.
9. Give Employees A Say In Decision-Making
During times of crisis, it can help your employees cope with the situation if they are involved in the decision-making aspect of your business. When they recognise your contributions, they will feel in control and give them the boost they need to deal with the crisis.
10. Learn From The Crisis
Once the crisis has passed, and everyone is back to normal, sit down with everyone to hear how everything went and see what can be done to improve the company’s actions in similar crises to help employees. It can also show you what safeguards can be put in place to prevent other problems from disrupting your operations in the future.
These ten ways are just how you can help your employees during a severe crisis. There are other ways how you can help them and tailor it to your company’s situation. As their employer or team leader, you need to take the first step to handle the crisis head-on and be a robust support system for your employees. When your employees see your initiative, it will boost their morale despite the ongoing crisis and help everyone push forward even after the situation ends.
How would you have prefer your company to support you in the terms of crisis? Come and share your thoughts with us in the comments below.
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