Are your employees saying that their leaders would do their best to have the least impact on the people? Are your employees sure that you will communicate openly and be transparent? Are your employees trying not to be not /in a state of panic? Are your employees willing to go an extra mile for the organization during any crisis? Are your employees connecting more with the business solutions and less with gossip mongers?
If your answer to each question above and many more similar questions is “Yes” then you have built a Culture that will help you sail through the times of crisis. When there is a crisis, human beings unconsciously tend to go back to the most ingrained processes and thoughts that have been running in the background which are the core of your culture. And if your organization is collectively invoking these similar thoughts and processes, then you are aligned and would get the best response from your people during a crisis. A culturally aligned organization will have employees being productive and not counter-productive in times of less managerial control because they know that the leaders are taking care of other more important things. Now, if we look at this in a collective fashion, it has a direct and most positive impact on your bottom-line as each employee is doing more than what they need to do; deliver results plus manage themselves.
This scenario cannot be the result of what you are doing presently. This is an outcome of what you have built over a period of time.
- Have you been transparent with your people?
- Have you been honest with people?
- Have you taken good care of your people?
- Have you maintained a people-first approach?
- Have you made your employees learn the importance of performance and delivering results?
- Have you made your employees learn how in their roles they take care of the customer’s interest?
- Have you made your employees learn the importance of empathy, teamwork, and collaboration?
This is the true representation of your organizations’ culture and how sturdy and deeply rooted it is, will define how well you manage in the times of crisis. In a robust and aligned culture, people will make sure they not only manage their deliverables but also manage themselves to minimize the supervision overhead. This in turn helps the organizations’ leaders to focus on more important things like strategy, budget, initiatives and communication design for managing the crisis. Even when people are working remotely, they are showcasing discipline and accountability because they are used to it and they also understand the importance of these competencies in times, when leaders’ outlook is outward. This juxtaposition with organizations which have a non-aligned culture and where people do not trust their leaders is the key to success of any organization once the crisis is over.
It is very important to know that any situation of crisis which is truly external in nature, but has a huge impact on business is a forced process of change management for any organization. Unconsciously, all the organizations are going through change at the same time, but not all will succeed. When there is no time to prepare your organization for the change that is going to come for organizations to remain operational, your culture will define how prepared and open your people are for all that unknowns that are in store. The mindset and behaviour of people, which are directed by the culture will be key to the success of this process. People with aligned cultural values will accept the new “modus operandi” and plan to do their best with the resources available. Such organizations will have proactive people and those who will be ready to understand that there could be quick changes and updates that they may need to abide by. What leaders should continue to do while the crisis is still on, is to stick to what you have always done well in the past:
- Communicate honestly and transparently
- Uphold the values in tough times too
- Keep people at the centre
- Stick to what you promise
These leaders will then see that their employees will go the extra mile and…
Abide they will!!
Manage they Will!!
Deliver they will!!