Four things employees need from their manager in a crisis

The real competence of a manager is fully demonstrated when they and their team are faced with a critical situation. It could be a big drop in the company's sales, the need to lay off staff, or any other situation that creates uncertainty in the team. How should a team leader act at such moments and what do subordinates need from them in these situations?


Clear communication

As the Harvard Business Review notes, in critical situations many managers tend to resort to withholding information and communicating vaguely about what is happening. But if you really want to help your subordinates, you need to give them the complete opposite. Communicate clearly, hide nothing from them if possible and call things by their real names. Even though the situation may be complex, uncertain and frightening, it is always better to explain what is happening than to keep subordinates in the dark.

Concrete plan

In times of crisis, subordinates look to their manager because, among other things, they expect them to bring some order to the seeming chaos and uncertainty. As their manager, you should try to present the team with a plan. This applies even if you are unsure how the situation will evolve: you still need to explain to subordinates what is happening and outline the steps you intend to take if development A or B or C occurs, as well as the time frame for this entire event.

Ability to react to current events

While plans are important, in a critical situation, which is often unclear and unpredictable, it is also essential to be able to change these plans and react flexibly. Even if you have some established procedures and proven, unchanging processes as a team, you need to revise these measures when necessary in response to new realities. So be flexible and do not stick too closely to old and established practices.

Positive approach

A good manager should never lose their positive attitude. Even if the whole world is crashing down around the team, the manager should be the one who keeps a cool head, does not let emotions get the better of them but seeks opportunities to make the best of a bad situation. Be supportive of your subordinates and try to translate their uncertainty into constructive action.



Article source Harvard Business Review - flagship magazine of Harvard Business School
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