Managing in a Time of Crisis
This is a guest post by Dominic Rubino.
Here we are. The “what if” scenario is in front of us.
As leaders we need to be prepared so that we show confidence and leadership to our teams.
Now more than ever facts must drive our decisions.
I’ll keep this article point form and factual so it is easy to follow and put in place.
Crisis management is about communication. (See the green circle below) (1)
Controlling that communication is the key to keeping everyone calm and focused.
Listen ( see orange circle above)
All of your team will have questions. Get in front of them as quickly as you can.
Depending on the size of your company you might need to have an “all company meeting.”
This can be quickly set up on Skype if you have people working remotely. Contact me if I can help you set up a conference call using Zoom.
I will also be publishing a How-To document for Managing Remote Teams. Stay tuned for more.
Not only do the people in your company have questions, they want to know that they are being heard. Create an easy way for people to get their questions to you so that you can answer them.
Ideas for Listening to your team
- Set up question boxes in your shop and check them daily.
- Hold a meeting. Put up a whiteboard and ask each person one by one to call out their questions.
- Walk the shop floor. Now is not the time to stay in your office. Talk to people individually.
- When people are asking you questions remain calm and let them get the whole question out. Once they are done it’s helpful if you repeat the question back.
- Here’s an example of what I mean. Tony stops you in the hallway to ask a question.
Tony- ..What are going to do if sales drop off and people don’t want us in their houses ?
You- “…Thanks Tony- so your question is how are we gong to keep on selling new jobs if people don’t want us in their houses?”
Measure ( see orange circle above)
Measurement means a few different things right now.
Facts are facts.
First- now is the time to rely on the strategic plan you built for the company. (Those of you who work directly with me will refer to this as the OPSP, or the EOS Level 10 meeting.)
In that strategic plan we laid out your critical numbers, flowcharts ( also called SOP’s), and types of meetings that we need to have with our people. Use those tools as much as you can. Contact me directly if you have questions.
Second- as business owners we need to take the lead and make sure that we are getting our information from credible sources. Facebook, Instagram, and “my friend told me” are not credible sources! Establish which media outlets you trust the most, and refer back to them. For an example, this is Forbes list of trusted media outlets.
I would suggest that you publicize these trusted outlets with your team as well- this way, your team will know where you are looking.
Talk ( see orange circle above)
Yes, I know that some of you reading this already think you have too many meetings. (read my article in Forbes on this subject) In a time of crisis like this, those meetings are not for you – they’re for your team.
Your team is going to be getting information from somewhere. If it doesn’t come from you they will find it from other sources. Or, left without direction, the loudest , most convincing voices will win out over fact-based points of view.
Tips for talking to your team (and still getting work done)
Get ahead of “talking”, so that you aren’t caught by surprise. Tell your team to expect an update from you at a pre-set time.
I spoke with a business owner just this morning and we put the following communications schedule in place with his company.
9 AM daily- He will update the team on the latest information. His primary source of information will be at this web address.
2 PM daily- He will update the team on the latest information. His primary source of information will be the CDC at this web address.
If you are feeling ill. Send a text message to ‘NAME’ by 7 AM. Otherwise we’re looking forward to seeing you here!
The Toolbox talk/Safety meeting will be held at our regular time (8 AM ) for the duration of this quarantine.
The Huddle and Dashboard will be held at our regular time (10 AM Tues/Thur) in the boardroom for the duration of this quarantine.
Floor walks- I will be walking the floor daily. If you have questions, let’s discuss when I come by your station. Sunday nights at 6- He will update the team on the latest information. His primary source of information will be the CDC at this web address.
Engage ( see orange circle above)
What this means is to slow down, really talk , really listen and don’t try to “Baffle with BS”.
Your team needs you now. Think about how they and their families will talk about your company after all of this blows over. Because it will blow over.
Do you want them to say “Our boss is a good guy. We were kept informed and I felt confident that he knew what he was doing every step of the way.”
Do you want them to say “…it was really stressful I didn’t know from day to day what was going to happen. I was worried I might lose my house. My wife was asking me questions I just couldn’t answer. I wish he had just been straight with me.”
Now is not the time to do this alone. If you have my contact info, get in touch with me now. We’ll put together a plan that works for you and your team.
Who is Dominic Rubino and is this information reliable?
Good question, I’m glad you’re asking. I’m a businessman, and for the last 20 years, I’ve coached, consulted and trained business owners on how to work smarter, not just harder.
I value reality over theory. I hate theory. You might want to know more about me and how I approach business turnarounds.
You can find out more in the following places
- Linkedin here
- ProfitToolBelt podcast
- Cabinet Maker Profit System podcast
- Feature Publications
- Forbes- all articles here
- Trade Industry Publications
- Roofing Contractors Association
- Profiles Magazine ( CMA.org)
- Ted Talk is here
- YouTube channel is here
- Christine G. Springer, Director of the Executive Masters Degree in Emergency and Crisis Management at UNLV
Check out the podcast interview I did with Dominic Rubino last year here.
Finally, here’s the time I appeared on Dominic’s Profit ToolBelt Podcast.