Leaders change, companies merge, divisions spin-off, customer expectations evolve, companies go global and markets transform, and now pandemics occur. In fact, this current pandemic shift is forcing businesses to re-think how they operate, meet clients’ changing needs, and support their employees through this unprecedented time.
During times such as this, it is even more critical to think about the impacts that your decisions will have on the business and your employees. This is a time to look for opportunities to throw some of your current practices, policies, and procedures out the window. For example,
- Does it really make sense to proceed with things such as performance reviews? Could your employees’ and managers’ time be better spent focused on helping your company pivot to meet client needs in a new way? But, don’t stop giving employees feedback – they need to know what they are doing well and things they need to course-correct!
- Should you still pay bonuses and raises? This is a tough question. One thing that may make it easier to answer is to ask yourself, “by taking these compensation actions; will I then need to lay off employees? If your company is looking at reduced revenue, you may need to consider delaying these compensation actions so that you can continue to employ your employees.
- When faced with layoffs in the past, have you typically used LIFO (Last In, First Out)? If so, you may want to look at using an approach(es) that better supports your current and potential business needs. Would your business be better served by keeping on your utility players, high performers, and/or more experienced employees?
- If you don’t allow telecommuting; now more than ever is the time to allow it – your employees’ health is on the line. In addition, the experts (e.g., CDC, WHO, and Federal and State Governments) have advised that people need to work from home if their job can support it.
- Do you typically only hold an annual all hands meeting? Consider holding weekly all hands meetings (using a virtual tool of course – e.g., Zoom, conference call, Microsoft Teams). Regular communication is key during times of change and uncertainty – even if it’s just a brief 15-minute meeting. And, you will want to be sure you are communicating with empathy and explaining the WHY behind your decisions – especially the toughest ones (e.g., layoffs, delayed bonus, and raise).
- Do you do in-person team building events? Look for ways to creatively connect with
and support employees through virtual platforms. Offer online coffee chats; a lunch
time 10-minute meditation, stretching or breathing exercises; speakers on topics such
as managing through change, wellness strategies, and productivity tips for working
We are facing unprecedented challenges in our nation and world. Yet, this too will pass. How we handle key HR decisions will determine if our employees can stay focused on our company’s mission, objectives, and client needs.
In addition, our employees will be watching how we move through these situations. Are you and your management team leading from a place of GRACE?
- Grit (I’ve got it within me to lead us through this.)
- Resilience (We have navigated choppy waters before, and we will emerge stronger and better.)
- Adaptability (Our ability to pivot quickly is essential for survival.)
- Connection (You are not alone. I am here with you.)
- Empathy (I truly understand where you are, and I am ready to lead with compassion.)
Now more than ever, leaders and their teams need guidance on WHAT to communicate and HOW to communicate. We have found across the board that leaders within an organization have no idea HOW to communicate at this time, so we are committed to helping them with this.
Communication with GRACE is absolutely essential to maintaining a culture of trust. There are a lot of difficult conversations on the horizon.
How we deliver them – with compassion and empathy – will determine how strong our relationships will be with our employees, customers, partners, and vendors once all of this is behind us.
Shifts happen. Don’t let them scare you. No matter which shifts are going on in your organization, there are always distinct opportunities to maximize these moments to create a thriving culture that drives growth in a sustainable, differentiated way.
Not sure how to get started? We’d love to help you. Contact us today to help you lead with GRACE.