Leadership DecisionS that improve Crisis management
#1. Institute check-ins.
Evaluate everyone's temperature 2x weekly. I’m not talking physical, I’m talking their mental temperature. Things are changing rapidly and the person who is optimistic one day can easily become negative and be sporting a survivalist mentality the next. Engage personally with each person, these need to be one on one conversations with each person.
#2. Don't tune out, lean in.
Monitor customers closely. Rumors can spread rapidly, and it can be easy for a salesperson to get caught up in something they heard. First news is never the most accurate news— this is where you as a sales leader need to be on top of things by watching closely the industries and geographies you operate in.
#3: Keep the focus on the long-term.
Be careful of short-term decision making for both you as a sales leader and with requests made by customers. The quick policy changes you’re about to make can come back to haunt you should things not turn out the way you expect them to.
#4: Play the long-game with your planning.
This means yes, we all hope things turn around in 30- 45 days but they may not. Be prepared to have your team in this mode for 90 days or worst case even longer.
#5: Do not forget employee reviews and raises.
Trust me your employees are not! You may have to adjust and do these only as a last resort. Time and space may not allow you to do the type of review you want but do let them know where you’re at with the process.
#6: Develop and maintain relationships.
Your employees may all be working from home, but that does not mean the break room is closed. Send them lunch, or a food item once a week. If you normally recognize birthdays in the office, make sure you still do so virtually. Your people have to continue to feel the personal touch. If they don’t feel the personal touch things could get very awkward when you open the office back up.
#7: Express interest and show concern.
Ask each employee how everyone else in their home is doing. Let them know how your family is doing. This pandemic is personal, and we need to be open with our people.
#8: Make time for personal connection.
Rally the team in a group video call minimally once a day. Make it a time for each person to share the big beautiful event of the day. It might be a neat sales call, or a new sale. Celebrate daily! Do not let your team feel isolated.
#9: Focus on motivation, clarity, and recognition.
Studies consistently show this daily memo makes a huge impact on people in helping people feel motivated and engaged. Yes, it can be over communicating but you would much rather be blamed of over communicating than under communicating. Each morning, email your team a note with four things:
1. A funny meme.
2. An uplifting quote.
3. The list of things you’re working on and expectations for the day.
4. Recognize an employee for something awesome they did the day before.
Stay calm, we’re all in this together and together we will all get through it. A key takeaway we have the opportunity to see is the significant growth of your leadership skills as a manager. I remain very optimistic and encourage you to do the same. We will come through it and be better off because of it. Reach out anytime; we are all in this together.