“None of us are experts in pandemic management. We’re all doing the best we can.” -Mike Fitzsimmons
The business landscape is constantly evolving, especially when the world around us keeps changing. As mentioned in the quote above, I doubt anyone was ready for the pandemic several years ago, and we can’t always be prepared for the challenges that come with events like the pandemic. So developing the ability to optimize your people, business, and crisis management now will become crucial during those challenging times ahead, just like they were for the challenges of the past. I would like to share five strategies talked about by industry experts to help businesses navigate trials, with a focus on talent optimization and helping you create your own crisis management plan.
1. Organize Your Talent for Adaptability
“We’ve built our teams knowing that there would be ups and downs in the market. In practice, this means diversifying skill sets from the moment people start by having them partake in a variety of cross-departmental projects. This helps employees build a broad foundation and keeps them engaged.” – JD Conway
- Foster a culture of adaptability within your teams.
- Encourage cross-departmental projects to enhance skill diversity.
- Provide continuous learning opportunities for employees.
2. Use Talent Optimization as a Framework
“If you can afford to, now is the time to poke holes in existing processes and question why you do the things you do.” – James Parker
- Evaluate existing processes and identify areas for improvement.
- Implement changes based on a talent optimization framework.
- Align business and talent strategy for responsible decision-making.
3. Don’t Assume You Know What Everyone Wants
Transitioning to new methods when crises happen, such as suddenly going remote, can create a sense of disconnection among team members. It’s essential to stay connected and embrace an “it takes a village” mentality.
- Regularly check in with team members via emails, phone calls, or video conferencing.
- Foster communication between team members and encourage the sharing of ideas and observations.
- Adapt to the new normal by being open to suggestions and feedback.
4. Listen and Inspire Your Workforce
Have measures in place to listen and inspire your workforce. Make training fun with videos, games, roleplays, quizzes, etc. Add incentives and perks to keep the excitement high and your remote team engaged.
- Create channels for employees to share suggestions and observations.
- Incorporate feedback into training programs and systems.
- Implement engaging and interactive training methods.
5. Encourage Workplace Fun and Mental Health Breaks
“I never went into business just to make money – but I found that if I have fun, the money will come. I often ask myself, is my work fun and does it make me happy? I believe that the answer to that is more important than fame or fortune. If it stops being fun, I ask why? If I can’t fix it, I stop doing it.” – Richard Branson
- Designate specific time slots as “no-meeting zones” to reduce meeting fatigue.
- Encourage employees to use this time for personal activities or breaks as needed.
- Enhance productivity by minimizing unnecessary meetings. If it can be said in an email, just send the email.
Preparing a crisis management plan is a strategic move that can lead to enhanced resilience and success. By implementing these five strategies, businesses can navigate challenges effectively, ensuring that their teams remain adaptable, motivated, and connected even in the face of uncertainty.
If your business is struggling during a crisis, or you need help making a plan and working to optimize your employees, you can meet with a business coach and find ways to do all of the above and more.