Organizations face business disruptions on a regular basis. These disruptions commonly occur in the form of mergers, acquisitions, and organizational restructuring. Sometimes they occur as a result of a natural disaster, or even a global pandemic. The key to rebounding from a business disruption is having skilled leaders who can effectively shine a light on expectations.
The first thing leaders discover during any business disruption is that their employees crave an insatiable thirst for information. They want to know that what they’ve been told is still current and accurate. They want you to know that not knowing is stressful. Above all, they want to know the performance expectations during and after the disruption.
As managers, you have the responsibility of guiding team members through a disruption with positivity for growth and development of skills like resiliency and resourcefulness. Your priority role through the disruption is to return your team to peak productivity and performance as quickly as possible.
Transitioning from a state of business disruption to a state of productivity and performance can be achieved with best practices for Clarifying Expectations:
One-on-One Touchbase conversations. Workforce surveys consistently say that employs value time with their manager as the most important factor in their performance and engagement. Consistency of these conversations must continue through a business disruption. Managers need to be ready and willing to field tough questions in times of increased worry, stress, anxiety.
Performance priorities and goals. Employees tend to rally during a disruption that is communicated effectively. However, if the duration of the disruption extends beyond anticipated duration, without clarification of priorities, employee engagement and performance will suffer. Short-term performance priorities and goals are recommended, updated regularly at team meetings.
Team inclusion in solutions. Open dialogues about challenges and impacts of the business disruption become a tool for engaging employees in being a part of the organization’s success story. A team brainstorms should follow the productivity model of a) identifying opportunities, b) prioritizing solutions, c) creating an action plan. Including employees when preparing for the next business disruption is essential. Employees feel valued when they are utilized in crafting strategies and solutions to return to productivity and performance after a business disruption.
Clearly, one of the most valuable outcomes of any business disruption is discovering talent on your team who demonstrates remarkable resiliency in times of stress. Future leaders emerge. A pleasant surprise for many organizations during business disruption; employees step up to encourage others and focus teams on service over stress.
We encourage managers to embrace the role of lighting the path that helps employees stay focused on growth and development. Something that only a business disruption uniquely creates.