Few things inspire creativity and resolve more than absolute and imperative need. This principle has repeatedly proven itself true throughout the course of history. Some of mankind’s greatest advancements occurred as a result of seemingly impossible circumstances.
For organizations struggling to maintain normalcy in operations, the hour at hand appears to be endless. The concerns and questions are many, solutions and answers are limited and few. Creative and out-of-the-box thinking is needed as we prepare to weather a storm that could have a lasting impact for months to come.
Withholding information deemed critical to business operations is of little value. While there may be specific details small business owners elect not to share, the overall health of a company given the current state of affairs is important to all stakeholders. To the degree possible, business owners and senior leadership should consider sharing with employees the challenges and hurdles impacting business operations.
With an all-in-it-together mindset, organizations should look inward for workarounds or solutions to pandemic-imposed barriers. Employees may have suggestions to improve efficiencies that might not have been considered before. Others may have product or service ideas that would enable your business to transition into sectors serving critical infrastructure. Don't overlook the value of what can and likely does exist within your workforce to meet current challenges head-on.
When and where possible, challenge your employees to step up. Delegate tasks and responsibilities associated with daily routines to those most capable and willing to help. Doing so allows senior leaders to focus on the steps needed to transition forward. One of the greatest risks of leaving the helm to deal with response-oriented matters is that it takes you off course over time and delays recovery. Look for ways to involve your employees, give them the support needed to be successful, and you’ll likely be surprised by what they can achieve.
Purpose and Meaning
Perhaps more so than ever, employees need to know what they do matters. It matters to you, your clients, and the health of the organization. Few things rally people more so than a crisis. Create a shared experience with those in your workforce in the days, weeks, and months ahead that will long serve you and your organization. Take the time to check in with individuals and thank them for their contributions, ideas, and involvement. Help them understand the connections between what they do, the impact it has on clients, and the value it brings to the organization. The time has never been better, and words of encouragement are needed.