The past year has given managers a crash course in leading through uncertainty and change, and because the challenges are far from over, this means that you will have to step up to support and motivate your team like never before.
Think of yourself as the coach that has to rally the team at half-time when you’ve had two players sent off and you’re 4-0 down at Man United.
Yes, you’re up against it, but this is your chance to show your team that you’re there in the trenches with them and it is possible to keep moving forward.
So how can you manage and motivate your team through uncertainty and change?
Here are my top tips.
Set the tone as a leader
Your team will look to you to lead from the front, and what you say and do, or what you don’t say and do, during times of uncertainty and change can determine how others respond to it (and how much they respect/trust you). Be positive, flexible, honest, and empathetic- and don’t forget to communicate what is happening, when it’s happening, and why.
Remember that everyone deals with uncertainty and change differently
Uncertainty and change are often resisted because uncertainty causes fear. Most people prefer to maintain the status quo. Where there is fear and people feel insecure, there’ll be anger, frustration, grief; all kinds of emotions. Bear this in mind when you are communicating and dealing with members of your team. Which brings me nicely on to the next point.
During times of uncertainty and change, employees need to know that you care about them. This helps to make them feel valued, it reduces stress, and increases their confidence that as their manager, you will try to do what’s best for them.
Take time to listen to people and address their concerns and questions if you can. This is not a time to isolate yourself and duck out of having difficult conversations, you need to treat your people with consideration and respect. Tell them you care and want to understand how they are feeling, then try to work together to find solutions and move forward.
Uncertain times are not the times to make rigid plans that you’ll stick to come hell or high water. Planning can help you focus and feel more secure, but times of change and uncertainty call for flexible planning that gives you and your team plenty of room for manoeuvre if things should change.
Learn how to improve resilience in your team
Learning to be resilient includes learning how to not just survive, but thrive through uncertainty and change. Change and uncertainty affects you and your team emotionally, mentally, and physically, so learning the tools and techniques to help you stay positive and resilient in tough times can really help you manage stress in your team and move forward together as a stronger unit.
Take time to reflect
Rather than letting difficult situations give you tunnel vision and put you in survival mode, where you can’t make good decisions because of stress and brain fog, take time to reflect on the difficult period.
What have you learned as a leader in the past year?
What kind of leader do you want to be when this is all over?
What needs to improve for the future?
How do working processes and practices need to change to sustain improvements?
Where can you innovate?
How equipped to you feel to lead in uncertainty?
Uncertainty is something you’ll face often as a manager-it’s not going away!
Are you struggling to motivate your team and get them on board with changes that need to happen to realise the business vision?
Do you need help but does the idea of spending money right now make you feel nervous?
Ask yourself-If you don’t act, what will change?
Investing in getting some help will help your team and the business grow and develop, and the result will be better performing, more profitable teams who want to work together for the good of the business.
Want to know what’s possible?
Book a discovery call now.