In troubled times, a manager has a double responsibility. He must not only control the results of work, but also make every effort to ensure that his team is not plunged into a state of anxiety and fear.
How do you create a comfortable environment for the team to work under stress and uncertainty?
Don’t Pretend That Nothing Is Going on
When management avoids a problematic topic and pretends like nothing has changed in the world – it can sow mistrust and anxiety in the team. Ignoring a problem only raises the level of excitement in the team. Employees probably have a whole load of questions in their heads: what will happen to work and wages, whether to expect cuts. Don’t leave them alone with their speculations.
Call a general meeting, tell them about the company’s plans, future scenarios, and try to answer all questions honestly. In doing so, you definitely shouldn’t deceive anyone or talk about anything you’re not sure of.
Helping to Relax
In an attempt to abstract away from fear, an employee may go headlong into his work. That’s not always a good thing – after all, he has every chance of burning out in the workplace.
Team building, educational and wellness programs, and courses help to reduce anxiety without overwork and total immersion into projects. The team can switch to them outside of working hours and distract from the stressful environment. Besides, you can think about activities you can try together. Imagine, most of your team members like betting on football via 20Bet. Suggest them to create their football team an play themselves after work.
Keeping an Eye on the Mood of the Team
In any unclear situation, it is important to maintain a healthy relationship within the team. And show management’s willingness to communicate openly, even if the team is made up of people with different views.
If a conflict situation arises, don’t exacerbate the tension. If possible, intervene in the dispute and try to stop your opponents. Not the fact that at the moment people will be able to understand you and treat you adequately. After a while, emotions will subside and your words will be listened to.
Also, don’t criticize employees for their position, whatever it may be – it’s important for all of us to feel comfortable and know that we will be listened to and understood. Try to organize communication in safe groups, where everyone can share their opinions, concerns, and plans. You could even invite a psychologist and do a kind of group therapy session for everyone.
Not Letting Chaos Win
When an employee is in a restless state, concentrating on work is not easy. Apathy and chaos can take over a team and greatly affect not only results, but also the overall mood of the team.
It’s important to think through the timing in detail before each meeting, and to bring out the main points for discussion in advance. If you feel that in meetings or work conversations, the discussion suddenly changes vectors to an outside topic, ask the team to “park” the conversation until the next meeting. Or move it to a special space where you can open a discussion on non-work issues.
Getting back on track is facilitated by routine – it helps distract from feelings of fear and uncertainty. Perhaps you should divide large tasks into smaller ones, revive morning meetings, bring back team rituals, and synchronize more often to discuss projects. In such a situation, many people won’t oppose it, on the contrary, they will thank you.
Review How to Support a Team in Troubled Times: Top 4 Tips for Leaders.