By: Don Tyler is Owner of Tyler & Associates (www.dontyler.com) and has been an Executive and Management Coach for Ag Clients for over 25 years.  He can be reached at 765-490-0353 or don@dontyler.com

As we progress through the stages of crisis leadership, we need to keep in mind that on top of the additional intensity placed on us by the crisis itself, our employees need us now more than ever.

During this time, they need Clarity, Information and Transparency.  Even though you’ve been leading through this crisis for a few weeks now, it can be important to reinforce each of these areas on a regular basis.

 

Clarity:

  1. Communicate any changes in their job, who they are responsible to, or changes in scheduling.
  2. Restate and clarify your PTO policy about time off and if there will be any changes.
  3. Provide instruction on what they should do if someone in their family becomes ill.
  4. Clarify how flexible you can be with scheduling.
  5. Let them know who to go to in the company for different types of information, such as scheduling, changes in production procedures, personal health issues, family concerns, etc.
  6. Give them some help on how to be an awesome team player in this situation.

 

Information:

  1. Have a plan for and explain what you are doing to enhance their safety and protect their health.
  2. Clearly and regularly show them that their well-being, and the well-being of their family, are high priorities.
  3. Share elements of your 90-day plan as it develops, letting them know that it is updated on a regular basis.
  4. Let them know how they can help by sharing accurate information, not making assumptions on their own, and reminding them to avoid gossip.

 

Transparency:

  1. Tell them what you know, and what you don’t know.  Transparency during this time builds trust, especially when you are transparent enough to tell them what you don’t know.
  2. Share what is going well, successes that have been achieved, problems and issues that have been resolved, etc.
  3. If you know that an action will definitely need to be taken, even if it is in the future, let them know in advance.
  4. Remember that frustration and fear come from lack of knowledge or a sense that they are not being told information important to them personally.  Share as much as possible.

 

You can help each of these three areas by asking how they are actually doing.  Don’t just ask, “Is everything okay??”  Ask:

  • “How is your spouse doing with this?”
  • “How are the kids handling this?”
  • “With all these things going on, what’s the biggest concern for your family right now?”
  • “What’s your family’s highest priority right now?”
  • “How are your parents and the grandparents doing with all this?”
  • “Is there anything I can do to help?”
  • “If there is anything we could do around here to make things go better for you and your family, what would it be?”

 

Please let me help.  I’m here for you if you need to just talk, have some questions, need some assistance or anything at all.  No expectations.  No strings attached.