Most companies will experience hard times at some point. Whether this is due to economic conditions, heightened market competition or internal struggles, it's important to remember that going through tough times does not mean that your team will not make it through to the other side. Many of the most successful brands today experienced setbacks during their journey to the top. While common, it can be difficult to lead your company during challenging times. To make the process easier, here are four ways you can guide your team to success:
1. Keep your emotions in check
You may be scared or uncertain about what the future has in store for your company. Maybe you are frustrated or angry at your current situation. What separates bad leaders from amazing ones is knowing how to keep their emotions in check during difficult times. You need to maintain a cool and collected composure to keep your team calm and looking to you for help. If you are wearing your feelings on your sleeves, your team may not trust you to guide them.
2. Address anxiety immediately and directly
Your team is likely stressed or anxious about the uncertainties ahead of them. Perhaps they are worried about layoffs or shake-up caused by a pending merger. Or the new company in town is poaching your key customer base. Maybe internal strife is leading to heightened emotions and conflicts. As the boss, you need to address any of these concerns or anxieties directly and immediately before they boil over and cause more trouble. If not, you may see key team members quitting in favor of more stable working environments. Be upfront from the very start.
3. Be proactive, not reactive
A passive "wait and see" approach to challenging times is rarely ever successful during difficult times at a business. There will be times where you will have to simply wait and handle situations as they come along, but it's best to be proactive, not reactive. Brainstorm proactive steps your team can take to improve. Don't fall victim to negative thoughts and outlooks at your organization. Use this time to encourage your team to rise to the challenge, not sit on the sidelines. Use this as a "all hands on deck" time for everyone to do their best to turn the sinking ship around.
4. Channel leaders you look up to
Strong leaders are able to embody their heroes and lead their teams like they have done it a million times before. Be patient, listen to your team members and position yourself as a source of knowledge and support for your employees, not someone who might be as concerned as they are.
5. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Communication is usually the best course of action for any scenario. Though it may be easier to simply shut down and do your job during trying times, you need to open up to your employees about how the problem is progressing. This flow of communication extends beyond your staff. Your clients, consumers and stakeholders might also be concerned about the future of your company, which is why you need to begin communicating regularly and clearly. Whether this unfolds as daily or weekly email updates, in-person meetings or periodic phone calls, you should get serious about communicating through any tough times you encounter.
At ProSolutions Training, we offer numerous online child care courses and social service training for interested professionals like yourself. Contact us today to learn more.