What do employees need to hear from leaders in times of crises? And how should we manage team remotely during a crisis, like a pandemic?
Crisis Leadership: Leading Teams in Times of Crises
By ANGEL O. PIÑERO
What do employees need to hear from leaders in times of crises? According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Sloan Management Review, employees need to hear frequently from team leaders to stay informed, feel heard, and keep focused in these uncertain times. After all, team leaders set the tone and serve as the voice of reality, especially if they are clear, steady, honest and stable.
And how should leaders manage team remotely during a crisis, like in a pandemic? First, leaders must reassess organizational priorities and offer clear direction, with clarity of purpose helping with productivity and profits. Second, leaders should set a positive tone, helping their team members to stay safe but staying sane. Its also helps by starting meetings with some friendly banter and asking everyone how they are doing.
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Next, leaders must follow the steps to create a network of teams, including launching teams fast and building as they go in times of crisis that breeds uncertainty. They must prioritize creating teams that will tackle current strategic priorities and key challenges that the organization currently faces. According to McKinsey, the network itself must be able to learn through information to update actions and strategies, hence spurring experimentation, innovation, and learning simultaneously among many teams.
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Trust Amid Crisis
How do we maintain the same level of productivity in the office, now that the most of the staff are working from home? According to Tech Republic, leaders could do three things to keep teams in sync and stay on top of every project or tasks.
- Trust team members and provide timely, clear communication. Transitioning from being a hands on leader to an online superior could be quite difficult for some, especially if that person has no experience of managing a remote team. Being a remote manager needs the understanding to develop a strong sense of trust in his/her team members’ capabilities.
- Develop and implement clear remote work policies. Identification and development of work policies is important to address virtual concerns, security issues, logistics, workflows, and medium to be use to communicate.
- Use online project-collaboration tools to stay in touch. Implementation of the WFH set-up must consider the employee’s capability to be online during work hours, and the necessary tools to be used for online project management, not to mention video conferencing instead of face-to-face meetings and in-person collaboration.
These are trying times, and it is important for a team, department, and company to be disciplined, have strong communication skills, and be self-motivated.
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