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This is the way to create an effective crisis response strategy

Let employees point the way

Be proactive in asking employees how they're doing and what's holding them back. That way, you will know you're responding in the right way at the right time.

  • If you don't have information from staff, start with a comprehensive survey. Find out if they have an appropriate workspace and reliable internet access at home.
  • Do they also care for children? Parent? These can have a psychological impact.
  • Inquire about their emotional state. Do they feel connected to their team? Are they lonely at home?
  • Try to get a view of their ability to collaborate with teammates effectively. Video calls and virtual whiteboards may be a steep learning curve.

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This is the way to create an effective crisis response strategy

This is the way to create an effective crisis response strategy

https://www.fastcompany.com/90513649/this-is-the-way-to-create-an-effective-crisis-response-strategy

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

A long-term response

Global crises are always challenging to navigate. When the time for immediate response passes, we have to dig in for the long haul.

Factors that influence operations going forward will be unique to each company. Remote work may continue to play a bigger role than it did before the pandemic. The emphasis is more on employees' mental health and well-being.

An employee-driven approach

Employees' health and well-being should come first. There may be a perceived choice between productivity and well-being. But, engagement is a natural by-product of well-being.

People are worried about health, job security, their kids' education, life on the other side of the crisis. Micro-managing will not create focus. Tactics like time-tracking software will only compound the problem. Instead, focus on easing their fears. The more distractions we as leaders can clear away, the more effective our people will be.

Guiding principles for a crisis response

  • Part of the response is to hold performance and growth check-ins to acknowledge the contribution each employee is making and help them manage their longer-term professional goals.
  • Err on the side of overcommunicating. Create a communication plan and be consistent. E.g., a daily email from the heads of each unit, or video messages from the CEO. Share even the bad news, to prevent employees from inventing their own stories to fill the void.
  • Keep a tight feedback loop. Know how your employees are coping, how their work is affected, and how they think leadership can help.
  • Be mindful of the resources you're consuming. Don't consume additional masks, disinfectants, and other supplies that hospitals need.

Let employees point the way

Be proactive in asking employees how they're doing and what's holding them back. That way, you will know you're responding in the right way at the right time.

  • If you don't have information from staff, start with a comprehensive survey. Find out if they have an appropriate workspace and reliable internet access at home.
  • Do they also care for children? Parent? These can have a psychological impact.
  • Inquire about their emotional state. Do they feel connected to their team? Are they lonely at home?
  • Try to get a view of their ability to collaborate with teammates effectively. Video calls and virtual whiteboards may be a steep learning curve.

The strategic value of listening

An employee-driven approach lets you change policies and practices in a way that is informed by data and not a gut feeling.

You may never get a holistic understanding of your company's health unless you have a conversation with your employees. They will know how you cared for them and made them feel. In turn, that will inform how engaged they are in the long run.

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Working from home

Before the pandemic, only 4 percent of the US workforce worked from home at least half the time. However, the trend of working from home had been gaining momentum for years.

It is estimated that within a couple of years, 30% of people will work from home multiple days per week.

Continued remote work

  • Before the pandemic, a lot of company management and leaders were skeptical regarding remote work. But the skepticism will go away because companies recognize that remote work does work.
  • The economic impact of the pandemic will likely force employers to cut costs. They may reduce their rent by letting workers work from home instead of layoffs.
  • Employers had to spend money on new technology and equipment to work from home - a departure from the norm.
  • Employees themselves are also spending more money to create better home offices.

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Acknowledging Your Anxiety

Acknowledging Your Anxiety

When dealing with difficult conversations, if you are already anxious, any further expectations from others will intensify whatever you are feeling.

You need to address your own emotions b...

Listen to the Unsaid

Sometimes, people are not able to articulate well their needs. Other times, the different questions being asked by our subordinates point to a single underlying problem.

Rather than getting triggered by the repeated questions that sound similar, or deflecting them, a better approach is to acknowledge the underlying problem, and provide an honest and clear answer, while providing a genuine reassurance.

Help Others Find Strength

One of the most empowering things leaders can do in the face of unanswerable questions is to use broader questions to draw out people's deeper concerns.

In doing so, you may end up helping others discover their own strength, which works far better than offering the answer you think they want.

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Getting Negative Feedback

Getting Negative Feedback

... is not the best thing to happen at work. It normally leads to a racing mind, emotional discomfort and increased blood pressure.

We may try to defend ourselves, or brush aside the feedba...

It’s Not Personal

Unless it is completely uncalled for, negative feedback generally has the intention of informing us about our areas of improvement. If feedback isn’t provided, you may not grow and improve. If no one tells you that you are doing something wrong, you will keep doing it wrongly forever.

Providing timely feedback may be a sign that the manager cares and wants you to improve.

Don’t Shoot The Messenger

One should not be defensive when provided with negative feedback, and understand that it is for our own good.

One needs to act on the feedback by approaching it from a neutral and objective standpoint, not taking it as a personal attack. Instead of reacting, just pause and listen. Reflect on the feedback, giving yourself some time and space to respond with a level head.

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