The way we live and work has changed more in the last few months than at any other time in recent history. The Coronavirus has affected businesses both big and small, and many leaders are looking for tools and techniques to help their companies weather an economic recession that is expected to be on par with the Great Depression.
Companies who survive the coming recession will be the ones who can balance short-term changes and action against a resilient and stable long-term vision.
Here at EI Advantage we typically discuss hardiness and resilience in terms of personal growth and development, but for this post we’d like to shift focus and offer some hands-on suggestions for leaders who may be struggling to lead their teams through these times of change.
Make a flowchart of all the organizational processes in the company to use as a visual aid and help team members understand where key processes occur.
This is especially helpful for identifying bottlenecks, but can also be a helpful way to get people on board with where the company is right now, and where you’d like it to go.
A useful exercise is to ask all department managers to draw what they think is the current organizational flowchart, and compare results. If you work in a larger company you may find that some people have conflicting or contradictory views, which may be keeping them from working toward the same goals.
After making changes to the business or a process - say, implementing mandatory “work from home” policies until social distancing has been lifted - update the organizational flowchart and distribute it to team members so everyone knows who is in charge of what, following up with whom, and so forth.
2. Collect data and review metrics
The idea of looking at hard data and crunching the numbers may make people uncomfortable, but collecting the right information is an essential step in change management, and building resiliency at work.
Focusing on facts - how the business has been doing, what’s changed, and how it’s faring compared to the competition - will steer leadership in constructive directions and can reduce the time needed to approve a decision.
Relying on data can also help avoid loss of momentum and frustration that can come with emotion-based decision-making.
3. Do a Force Field Analysis
A Force Field Analysis provides a framework for looking at the factors that influence a situation. For example, how is the Coronavirus pandemic driving movement towards, or away from a specific goal?
In addition to highlighting which driving forces need to be strengthened or weakened, this technique is helpful for identifying which team members may be resisting change within the organization.
For example, if a C-Suite leader is putting up resistance to allowing everyone to work from home until social distancing measures are lifted, consider elements like child care, school closures, and other factors that might impede productivity if team members need to be present at the office, and use them to advocate for a work-from-home policy to be widely accepted.
4. Culture mapping
Every organization has its own way of doing things, which means every business has its unique set of values, concepts, and best practices.
This is not the time for businesses to stick to “how we’ve always done things” - this is exactly when these deeply embedded organizational beliefs need to change. There’s no better time to revisit your company’s culture map than during this crisis.
5. Develop a project plan
As obvious as this may sound, having a clear plan that can be easily communicated to team members will serve as the framework for resilience in the coming months.
This plan informs team members where some flexibility is allowed, and which boundaries remain in place. If your team is also working remotely, as many of us are these days, having a project plan to refer back to helps multiple people working across various departments to implement new changes simultaneously.
A project plan will also help clarify roles and manage deadlines, which is critical for building resilience and keeping your company agile during these uncertain times.
Build Workplace Resilience
We’re living in times when skills like emotional intelligence, change management, and hardiness and resilience are more essential than ever.
There’s no better time to start developing the skills you need to guide your workplace team to success. Sign up for our on-demand Change Style Navigator certification or Resilience Assessment Certifications and learn at your own pace!
You can also join our next Emotional Intelligence Online Certification coming up on May 26 - 29 and save on the cost of your certification!