The workforce has changed tremendously over the last 10 + years. Virtual set up’s, flexible working environments, social media has exploded and has influenced and impacted business’s and the way we do business. Not to mention the landscape for talent has changed across the board with an increase in competition and more choices than we had before.
So, with how quickly and how vast the workforce has changed and evolved, shouldn’t leaders also evolve in their approach when it comes to challenging times in your business?
It may seem like an assumption to suggest that every company out there is the same when it comes to how leadership responds to turbulent times within an organization. But you don’t hear enough examples of leaders with a humanized approach in business where compassion and heart are at the forefront of a stormy patch in your organization. Frankly it’s uncommon for an executive leader to remotely display behavior that would make them appear or come across as ‘soft’ or ‘emotional’ or dare I say ‘weak’.
We’ve only recently started to talk about how to recruit and keep millennial’s engaged, so why wouldn’t we also look to how leaders lead? How do we take on a new, evolved approach to leading your team that’s likely wildly different than what we were used to years ago?
Challenging times can mean anything from a declining financial climate, to a change in management whether it’s your C level executives or middle management, to sales being down and having to decide on reducing your workforce.
Even if you don’t know the outcome of whichever course of action is taken, there are a few things that can help make your team feel confident, secure and remain engaged even during the toughest of times in your business.
So how do you do that?
- Be authentic in your approach and be REAL. Authenticity will always win no matter how difficult the situation is in your business. Leaders often have been expected to deliver all news good and bad, with a poker face on. They’re leading your team and expected to put on a certain front. Ultimately, your team wants to feel heard, recognized, appreciated, cared for and they’re human at the end of the day like you. A compassionate, authentic approach while delivering a tough message can still be well received.
- Communication is critical and EARLY communication even if you don’t have all the answers makes a world of a difference. The worst thing you can do is leave your employees guessing and speculating what’s going on. It doesn’t feel good and it will affect morale quickly. Employee engagement can be affected, you create unnecessary uncertainty and your team loses confidence in you and your business. Be transparent and timely.
- Share your plan for your vision on where you’re going next. Make your team part of that plan and highlight each person’s role in getting there. It not only empowers them but shows an investment in their future with your organization.
Leading during difficult times isn’t meant to be easy but it can be done in a way where your message and approach to your team, your people, your workforce can go one of two ways. Leading through adversity with authenticity, communication and a vision for the future or leading a sinking ship, having your employee’s disengage and creating an uncertain future for them.
Dare to take an nontraditional approach during challenging times in your business and challenge yourself to lead your team with grace through the storm.
I would love to hear from you!
What attributes in your company’s leader or in leadership in general do you think are the most important to possess and why?
Share your thoughts and comments below!
With so much appreciation,