How to Build Resilient Teams and Lead Through Adversity
In times of crisis, CEOs need to be decisive and clear with their employees. They also need to provide support and resources to help their employees through the tough times.
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We've learned that plans can change at any time without warning. Businesses that survived the pandemic are aware that it was more than just luck that got them through. Many still face the consequences. Several business leaders are feeling like they can't get a break. From Covid to the Great Resignation in 2021 to an upcoming recession in 2023. We've learned how to adapt, and sometimes even progress in times of uncertainty. But that doesn't make it easy.
In the last few years, I have learned more about being a CEO than I ever did in my entire life. In times of crisis, the most important thing that a CEO can accomplish is to set an example for his team and lead by example. Here are some of the most effective ways I have found to achieve this.
Leading Effectively in Uncertainty
93 percent are preparing their companies for a possible recession within the next 12-18 month. In the past, recessions have occurred on average once every nine to ten years. The last recession occurred in 2008, so we're long overdue.
Although recession talk is not new and the severity of the economic correction is still uncertain, 51% CEOs are considering workplace reductions to prepare for it since Q4 2022. Uncertainty about job security can cause a company's culture to be disrupted, as employees feel like they are on eggshells.
In times of crisis teams look up to their leader for guidance. A good CEO takes this responsibility very seriously. They set the tone and create an atmosphere of trust and respect for the entire organization. In recent years we've all seen examples of poor leadership. This reminds us that even the leaders of high-performing companies are not perfect. We can't all be perfect but we can do the right thing, and take on the responsibility of leadership in the face of adversity.
More is better when it comes to communicating. It is particularly important to do this during uncertain times. Keep your employees informed to build trust and show that you care for their well-being. Tell them what's going on in the industry and what you expect of their response. Also, let them know how you plan to proceed.
Many CEOs are reluctant to be transparent for fear of causing the opposite result. It is important to strike a balance. The CEO is the one who decides which information to share and with whom.
Transparency prevents miscommunications and rumors spreading within the company. It also reinforces team unity and alignment. You don't have to involve employees in every decision, but it is important to allow them to voice their concerns and opinions. It's important to consider employee feedback and use it to guide your decisions. Once you've established the details and have discussed them with company leaders, it is time to relay information.
Related: Four Steps to Building Resilience in Your Team
Stress levels have increased dramatically in recent years among American workers due to the unpredictability of the economy. According to a survey conducted by the American Psychological Association, 75% of Americans feel more stressed than they did 5 years ago. 83% of U.S. employees suffer from stress at work, and 25% say that their job is their main stressor.
It's crucial that you, as a CEO or leader, make an effort to reduce stress in your employees by putting their mental health first. It is important to offer flexible working hours, provide resources and access therapy services, encourage breaks during the day, allow time for physical activity and implement policies that promote employee autonomy.
It's also important to have an open dialog where employees can express their concerns and feelings. It has been proven that businesses who prioritize mental health have higher employee retention.
Align has an unlimited PTO policy. It's simple: If you finish your work, you can take time off whenever you like. This policy is a great way to show your employees how much you appreciate and value their hard work, and that they are important. I encourage my team to take a break when needed to maintain a positive mindset and prevent burnout.
People panic when they are in a crisis. This is the worst time to make important decisions. It's important to plan ahead, but it can be difficult. You can plan how you'll reduce your costs in the event of a recession. You might plan to reduce staff, salaries, or the resources and expenditures of departments. Whatever you decide, be sure that it is in the best interest of your business.
When you're stuck, return to your core values. The core values of your company are what defines it and should be the basis for all decisions, no matter how big or small. You can use them to guide you in the direction of your goals, even when times are uncertain.
From the top, your core values should be reflected in all aspects of your business. You are more likely, if you always act in accordance with these values, to build a culture of trust and earn respect from your staff.
Align stresses the importance of core value at every stage, beginning with the recruitment process. We ensure that every new employee is aware of our core values, and knows what it means for them to be upheld in our work and relationships. It is important to have a shared set of values to maintain a cohesive team and to be able to endure through difficult times.
Resilience is not something you can just have. It's something you must cultivate through planning, trust and transparency.
It is a huge responsibility to lead a team in times of adversity. In times of economic or political instability it can be hard to lead a team, but if you follow these principles, and inspire your team to remain positive, then you will succeed.
Related: How To Stay Calm In A Crisis And Lead Your Team Through Anything