Whether you are the head of a team, a project manager or an office executive, leaders understand that a crisis may strike at any moment. From a poorly laid foundation threatening the stability of a large development to a cybersecurity breach, small and large crises can impact projects, employees and the entire company in the blink of an eye. As a leader, it’s vital that you confidently lead your company from the moment a crisis arises, to after it has been resolved.
Most recently with the COVID-19 pandemic, virtually every company and employee across the globe was impacted by the Coronavirus. However, each employee may have been impacted differently based on family circumstances, geographic location and many other factors that may not have been fully disclosed to employers before. As many companies navigated the uncharted waters of the pandemic and altered daily operations to comply with the new health and safety guidelines, employees also had to navigate the new normal with their work life and homelife. Regardless of the magnitude of the crisis your team or company is presented with, it’s crucial to understand how your teammates are impacted so you can meet their needs to offer the best guidance in order to achieve success.
Asking the Right Questions to Better Guide Your Team
How have you and your family adjusted to the recent crisis? This open-ended question fuels deeper dialogue between leaders and teammates. Depending on the magnitude of the crisis, employees may be undergoing significant changes in their life schedules such as childcare, virtual school responsibilities, taking care of an older family member or other financial obligations. While they do not have to go into elaborate detail about their issues, what information they provide can give key insights on how you can better serve them, provide resources to assist their needs and figure out what course of action to take.
What is Most Important for You at This Moment?
Goals and priorities can drastically change when a crisis strikes, both internally and externally as well as personally and professionally. Employees may reconsider career paths, the number of hours they’re able to work, or new responsibilities outside of the office that require them to need a more flexible work schedule. Checking in with your employees regularly, especially in times of crisis, allows you to alter plans to better allocate employee resources to current tasks to ensure priorities align.
How Can I Assist You?
In any crisis, employees may need resources, support, and understanding during and after a crisis that you may be able to provide to them as a leader in your company. Simply asking, "How can I assist you at this time?" shows that you are aware that this crisis may have impacted them and that you want to show understanding regarding their professional and personal lives. Although there may be times when the assistance that they require is outside of your construction leadership duties, you may be able to direct them to outside resources that they were unaware of that could provide the right assistance.
Leading by Example
As a construction leader, creating a stable work culture can help bring focus and clarity to your employees and bring them greater peace of mind when crises do arise. Being an effective leader involves effectively managing employees after a crisis has impacted them and the company. Creating a productive working environment requires knowing what you expect from your employees and what they can expect from you, regardless of what is going on around the company, industry or across the world. It also means having some understanding that a large crisis may impact their productivity in a variety of ways. Figuring out how you can serve your employees needs will help ensure priorities are always aligned and no matter what situations arise, your company will always remain on track.