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Getting Back to Basics

During high-stress times, management approaches need to go back to the basics: clarifying expectations, reviewing needs, and adjusting roles so that people can leverage their strengths in new ways. Additionally,each employee needs to understand how they fit into the bigger picture of the organization - its mission and purpose.

Only the direct manager fully knows each employee's situation, can keep them informed, adjust expectations, provide coaching, and discuss accountability, in order to maintain engagement and inspire high performance.

In a recent Gallup study less than half of employees strongly agreed that their immediate supervisor keeps them informed about what is going on in the organization as it relates to the impact of the pandemic. The study also found four needs that are universal in in good leadership: trust, compassion, stability, and hope. These needs are especially urgent during times of crises.

A simple survey can help leaders determine whether they are meeting these four needs and gauge what their people are thinking. For example, asking how they feel about the company's plan of action in response to the pandemic, how prepared they feel to do their job, if their supervisor keeps them well-informed, and if they feel the organization cares about them.

Additionally, now would be a good time to learn how to deliver compassionate feedback to handle difficult conversations in a way that promotes positive, constructive outcomes, as well as consistent creative problem solving and effective decision-making.


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