With Brexit, potential trade wars and climate change all in the news, there is a lot of uncertainty around these days for our workforce to process. However, in truth, when hasn’t there been? Change and uncertainty are the only constant, and it’s your role as a leader to manage your team towards stability, even when external circumstances are changing.
So, how do you do that?
As a leader, you can’t control the outcome of Brexit, or Trump’s steel tariffs, or the rate of melting at the Poles. You can’t control the skills shortage that’s hitting many UK businesses, and you can’t even control if the company decides to make half the workforce redundant or to change senior management.
Plus with A.I. starting to impact organisations, change in the world of work is sure to keep coming thick and fast. The best leaders know how to keep their team united in times of uncertainty.
The only thing you can control is your actions as a leader. That is all. All you can do is be there for your team, in the most reliable, most stable, and most reassuring way possible.
In times of uncertainty, your team is looking to you for; information.
It’s your job to give it to them. Even if the news is uncomfortable, and even if you’re not exactly sure what’s happening yet. The rumour mill will generate something far worse, so be transparent with your team about what is going on. Keep them updated with what you know.
In times of uncertainty, your team is looking to you for; reassurance.
When you look at the last point about sharing bad news, this next one might seem counterintuitive! However, it’s not. Your role here is to share what you know, but then show that you still have a positive attitude about what’s ahead and are there to support them through the process.
Ask them how you can help them continue to do their jobs well. Moreover, make it clear that it’s ok to be a bit worried, it’s much less healthy for everyone to be trying to hide their stress and concerns so encourage them to talk to you about how they’re feeling.
In times of uncertainty, your team is looking to you for; your presence.
The worst thing a leader can do in times of trouble is to go ‘missing,’ by burying themselves in paperwork, projects or spending lots of time out of the office at meetings. The team needs your steady presence reminding them it’s business as usual, at least for now.
In times of uncertainty, your team is looking to you for; direction.
When employees feel their role is under threat or when a new leadership team comes in, people often go into a bit of a downward spiral, or at least stall their efforts and stop being as productive. Your role is to keep everyone ticking along as usual, with clear expectations, tasks, and deadlines.
In times of uncertainty, your team is looking for; hope for the future.
As a leader, your job is to keep talking about the future to keep people motivated. So talk about next month’s targets, or this years CSR programme. You don’t know what’s going to happen, but until you’re confident of the changes ahead, keep on talking about the future as usual.
Additionally, it’s crucial to reassure people about their future, in or out of the company. So, praise them, talk about their talents and opportunities, both in and possibly outside the organisation.
In times of uncertainty, your team is looking for you to; remain calm under pressure.
If you’re going to keep this team productive and cohesive in times of upheaval, you’ll need to make sure you’re at the top of your game. Looking after your health and stress levels is a crucial part of being the steady head at the helm. Make sure you’re also receiving the support you need from your senior team.
About Excel Communications
Excel Communications has a 30-year history as a global leadership and communication skills organisation dedicated to exceeding the expectations of clients through the training and development of their business and people.
We have a team of expert trainers delivering programmes across four continents in multiple languages. Isn’t it time you got in touch? Call us now on +44 (0) 1628 488 854.