Running a business, especially one that relies on many employees at a time, is a daunting task. Especially if working with people is not something that comes naturally to you as a manager. Add in a global health crisis, a recession, and a general feeling of uncertainty over what the future holds, and you can be sure that the stress of employee management is doubled.
Thankfully, we can take a page out of the leadership handbook of various successful businessmen and entrepreneurs and follow their lead in navigating these difficult circumstances. If you are a boss, supervisor, manager, or leader in your place of work, here are some best employee management lessons to use while navigating the COVID-19 crisis:
Crowdsource from inside the organization
When your resources are running low, don’t forget that there are people inside your company that you can rely on, whose potential you might not have completely tapped into yet. If an organization or company is struggling, the solution can always come from within the organization already, not outside of it.
We may glean a lot from third-party help and external consultants, but no one knows your company, its cultures, and needs, more than the people who have already spent time within it. Third-party consultants may be able to provide out-of-the-box solutions, but there are no better people to implement these ideas and strategies better than your employees.
Identify points where conflict can arise and mitigate it
Here are some sensitive points that management needs to get on top of before it can hurt people or cause conflict within the organization:
- Gender sensitivity
- Race relations
- Management mistrust
- Toxic or abusive work culture
These are just some of the most sensitive places through which conflicts can arise and hurt from both sides can take place. Before the worst happens, make sure to enlist the help of experts in these areas to avoid causing pain to anybody, first and foremost, and to help protect your company’s interests as well.
Seminars, training, special talks, and clear rules and by-laws can help with this endeavor. You can also seek the help of experienced employment mediation lawyers to help you and your human resources team stay on top of conflicts as they arise and before they take a turn for the worse.
Capture their heart and imagination
This may sound incredibly trite, but one of the best things you can do for your employees is to help them buy into the vision of your company. It’s not just about helping each other make money—if your company believes in a shared vision or ethos, you need to tap into that and remind them why they’re in your organization in the first place. More than speaking to them with just facts about their salary and potential career growth, talk to them about what it means for the world if they stay in your company.
For example, Disney’s core ideology was to provide happiness to millions of people, and we know they did and continue to do just that. Engaging your team members through the company’s vision statement can help them see their place in the company through a bigger picture, especially at a time when we could all use the encouragement that we are doing something important.
Encourage diversity and differences
One of the worst things you can do for yourself as a boss or CEO is to surround yourself with yes men who will only ever agree with everything you say and do, even when you’re wrong. These employees would be more interested in getting on your best side instead of telling the truth in the organization’s best interests. Encourage people to be both analytical and honest with you—it’s possible to disagree without disrespecting one another.
Invest in your people
Remember that investment and commitment are a two-way street: Without your employees, there is no company; and without your leadership, the ship will be unmoored and without guidance. If your team sees and feels like they are being invested through meaningful relationships, helpful and practical training, and being engaged with the possibility of career growth, they are much more likely to respect the management and do their best for the business. Investing resources and time to engage your team is one of the best ways to keep them productive and improve your company’s work culture.
Now more than ever, the success of your business hinges on your leadership and employee management. Engage your team, invest in them, believe in them, and let them buy into the vision—and you will never go wrong.