The Challenge: Market conditions have led to a stressful working environment where negativity is brewing, departmental silos are forming, and a general lack of clarity is leading to a scrambling mentality.
Tactics and Implementation
1. Personal Management
Poor numbers, potential layoffs, gloomy news reports, government-mandated health policies…for many of us, this is a way of life right now. The good news is that as the leader, you are the key person when it comes to taking charge of what you can control in the midst of a crisis. Improving culture and employee engagement in this kind of environment begins with who you are as a person, as much as what you do as a leader. This means that before you begin each day, you must set aside and keep private, your fears, and apprehensions. Show confidence in your team and in your decisions, regardless of the pressure you might be under.
2. Engage the Team
Remember that one of the core traits of effective leadership is knowing how to harness the combined talents of the team and then multiplying them for business success. Where to begin? Applying a structured brainstorming methodology to enlist your team’s collective involvement is a great place to start. Get their input by writing the following question on a SMART or whiteboard:
‘What kind of contribution does our company need to make to enhance the well-being of our customers?’
Once you’ve spent 20-30 minutes documenting the answers, re-visit or develop a set of new guiding principles and values or develop a credo. Do you believe in integrity? Respect for each other? Truthfulness? Responsibility? **As the philosopher Nietzsche said,
“A man can bear any what if he has a big enough why.”
Keys to Success
- Lead the action and stay visible.
- Ensure you inspect the results that you
- Demonstrate the values yourself and show how much you care about the team members, both as employees and as individuals.
- Keep the team focused on the purpose and guiding values, so there is no time for negativity.
- Always assume the best of intentions on everyone’s part, until they absolutely prove otherwise.
- Follow-up or combine the exercise with a team activity, like a night out of bowling or laser tag, assuming these are viable options.
Benefits and Results
- Builds high levels of trust.
- Greater buy-in and personal empowerment.
- Everybody knows exactly what they are expected to accomplish and
- Gives people a sense of calm and respect, even when they face conflict with one another.
- Keeps the team in the solution, not the problem.
** If you would like a list of values sent to you, or would like some assistance in facilitating this exercise with your team, don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll provide you with some complimentary guidance to make sure your efforts are successful. Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me directly at 778.317.8064.