Tools leaders are using for resiliency through crisis
The last few years have seen many difficulties and crises, the question this newsletter will explore is how organisations and leaders thrive in times of crisis.
How do leaders pull teams together when employees are feeling overwhelmed and overcommitted?
The current economic turmoil and the cost-of-living crisis have followed past crises like the pandemic and the financial crisis of 2007 together with more recent issues around diversity management and the social reckoning that has created changing cultural adjustments within organisations.
In addition, other considerations include baby boomers leaving the workforce meaning there will be a loss of an experienced workforce with fewer Gen Zs – the next generation – to fill these spots, therefore a generation crisis in the workforce is expected with leader and employee shortage are expected over the next few years
Millennials and Gen Z are often quoted as leaving industries as the job is simply ‘too hard’. These demographic shifts mean that retaining as well as recruiting the best people is essential to thriving further crisis.
How do organisations create a culture where they see the crisis as an opportunity?
This article uncovers the 5 tools that leaders that I am currently working with are using to work through the crisis and how they are using these tools and skills to be more resilient for the new challenges to come.
Leaders are utilising their skills to build trust in teams so that the organisation is able to bounce back and thrive. By developing cultures where crisis is viewed as an opportunity and looking for ways to grow.
History tells us that crisis is part of the human experience and recognising that change is very much part of our lives it is important that leaders view the crisis as growth and opportunity.
For example, the pandemic saw a shift in a working model that changed overnight.
Only a few years ago, an employee asking to work remotely one day a week would have been a serious consideration for the board, and carers asking for an earlier finishing time to pick up children from nursery or school would have been another board meeting agenda topic, which may (and let’s be honest here) or may not have been sanctioned.
However, the pandemic saw that overnight organisations transitioned quickly, and leaders moved from that fixed mindset of everyone in the office to adapt to the needs of the team. Hybrid working is now a fixed term on my recruiters advertising perquisites.
How do leaders ensure the well-being of their teams & stakeholders during a crisis?
The tools that leaders can use to work through any number of crises and become resilient to new challenges are outlined below. And the first tool starts with you, the leader.
Tool 1: Give yourself some time out
Anytime a leader goes through a crisis they must be resilient. A crisis makes leaders seem ordinary and fallible because the crisis exposes everyone’s struggle to deal with sudden changes and unexpected events.
And yet crises are not one-off events; they happen time and time again. Just as one crisis starts to resolve another is already taking shape.
Unfortunately, the human condition is not ideally equipped to rationalise the threats that our brains and emotional systems present. The modern-day dinosaur on the horizon now comes in the shape of uncertainty and the clashing demands and needs of the team.
Leading in a crisis takes a lot of effort, personal resources, and energy, so giving yourself some grace as a leader, and taking time out includes time out to reflect and heal is important.
In my work, I know that senior leaders are often naturally resilient. They have developed those resilient skills in the workplace and at home to gain trust and recognition for the job they do. However, burnout is inevitable when the task of doing it all on their own becomes too much.
Burnout is a real issue if leaders are trying to cope and be everything to everyone. If, as a leader, they feel that their role is the crucial pin holding their team and the organisation together, they will feel the strain and render themselves useless to the team, even a liability to the organisation.
If you feel that you are overwhelmed one-to-one professional coaching will help to get the perspective and clarity you need to operate at a level that your team needs.
Book an introductory session with me. As a professional accredited coach, I’ve worked with hundreds of leaders so that they can reach their optimum performance. I’m a qualified nutritionist, and fitness professional and experienced in the coaching mindset that is required for top performance which includes work around creating personal and professional boundaries.
With time out and perspective leaders are able to see the entire – 360-degree picture of what is going on and what needs to be done which then allows them to set realistic expectations for themselves and their teams, which means that the teams work well and enjoy problem-solving together.
Tool 2: Building trust
Building trust within teams and across the organisation is key to successfully thriving through any crisis. Trust, enables leaders to open up and let go of knowing what to do and having the courage to say to the team
“I don’t have all the answers, but this is a journey, and we will work through this together”
Leaders have historically shouldered the full responsibility and yet when leaders trust their team and trust that a solution can be found, they demonstrate these key skills to those around them:
- As a leader I am trustworthy
- I am vulnerable
- I care
By doing these things leaders will gain the trust of their teams and respect, feeling that they are in this together and can find a solution. As a leader, it is being able to have a level of empathy that combines passion so that trust is built, and organisations thrive
Tool 3: Communication
Building trust is the foundation which is developed on a continual basis so that when crises occur teams will pull together, and communication is an essential part of building trust and leading through a crisis.
Communication needs to be clear and unambiguous. Outlining what you know and being able to communicate that in a way that builds trust and transparency within your team.
Issues are complex and open communication with shared discussions will aid understanding for the decision-makers as well as for those that are carrying out those decisions.
Meeting with key stakeholders is essential so that collective learning and understanding are gained.
Creating a communication style that has a coaching style and creating an open dialogue with a coaching-led meeting, so that insightful questions are asked, and responses are nurtured and noted.
The responsibility rests with the leaders
Leaders develop resilience as a necessary prerequisite in their management positions, and the ability to be able to bounce back and thrive from difficult situations allows them to retain a position of authority.
The team relies on the team leader, and leaders need support which is bespoke. Each leader has their own team issues and individual work priorities.
A professional, accredited coach will give leaders the space and time to come out of their own thoughts and process solutions quickly.
Gaining perspective and understanding how to strategically move forward is not something leaders can do for themselves internally. Mental resilience isn’t a skill that will develop if ideas are internalised, instead verbalising and mulling over thoughts and ideas is a great way to develop and process new ideas.
If you are interested in exploring an idea of professional coaching to enhance your resilience skills then reach out via email firstname.lastname@example.org or book a quick 30 minute session to find out how it works.
How to create resilience in teams?
Resilience is vital to create powerful teams that will demonstrate resilience during a crisis. These are skills that can be learnt and provides more insights and greater understanding so that team members are then able to consider and reflect and work through stress, discomfort and emotional pain.
Problem-solving is a key attribute of resilience programmes which enables team members to find creative solutions to work problems.
Retaining team members is a key strategy to being able to ride the economic downturn. History shows us that post-economic downturns are followed by growth. The economic growth post recessions mean that those organisations that retain their staff and don’t make redundancies, come back stronger.
Investing in team members when life and work are uncertain is key to retaining key players.
Business Cost of Losing Staff
The society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) recently quoted that every time a business replaces a salaried employee it costs around 6 to 9 months’ salary.
For a manager on £40k, this would mean a cost of the business of £30k. It is easy to see the business cost of losing a more senior manager, or a high-flying key performer in terms of time, energy as well as financial loss.
Organisations committed to the development and wellbeing of their staff and placing a high value on employee welfare are considered to be part of a successful company’s DNA.
If your business is committed to reaching and maintaining key performers so that the business can ensure that teams are not too stretched and are able to manage workload during busy and uncertain times then reach out to discuss training and facilitations around resilience.
If you are interested in supporting your team’s resilience with a bespoke Resilience Training Programme then reach out so and book a quick call so that we can identify the needs of your team and what will work for them and your business.
What others have to say about Resilience Training
To support organisations with performance issues and boost productivity contact Adele to co-create a Resilient Programme that is bespoke to your organisation.
A programme that will include personalised training as well as coaching sessions that develop personal and professional growth for the individual and a strong proactive, solution-finding, organisational culture for your business.
If your organisation is looking to incorporate a resilience programme please email me to discuss your organisational requirements or book an appointment straight in my diary
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