Collector - August 2020 - 40

CREATIVESOLUTIONS

How to Lead in Times of Crisis
Communication is the key to easing employees' fears.
By Ronna Denny

C

risis. It's a word
connected to
what some
people are experiencing
in tandem with the
pandemic. It's also a
word connected to what
managers and our employees, as humans,
experience in the workplace during our
careers. As managers, how do we assist our
employees through a crisis? Depending
on the situation, there are a few different
approaches you can try.
If your company experiences layoffs,
furloughs or any similar corporate crisis, the
best thing to do is communicate openly and
honestly with your employees. Visit with

"Each detail you can
cover ahead of time
results in less stress for
the employee, the team
and yourself."

your staff every couple of days to ensure
you are keeping them in the loop as much
as possible and to answer their questions
and address their concerns. If you do not
know the answers to their questions, it's
OK to state that. During a recent crisis, our
CEO prepared videos at least twice a week
that were informative and encouraging.
Employee response to these videos was
overwhelmingly positive.

40

An employee's individual crisis requires
a different approach. While it may sound
harsh, particularly for those of us in smaller
companies, you must remain the boss and
not blur the line between boss and friend.
Your responsibility to be supportive remains,
but so does the employee's responsibility to
perform their duties.
Balancing employees' well-being and
performance is part of our job. Be willing to
consider creative solutions. Is it possible to
give the employee time off to deal with the
crisis? Can they leave early a day or two each
week while it settles down? Making up time
could be an option if the employee is not
making continuous mistakes.
Set clear expectations and boundaries for
the employee and establish an expected time
away from the office. Each detail you can
cover ahead of time results in less stress for
the employee, the team and yourself.
If you need to ask other employees to step
up and cover duties, share with the team that
the employee is dealing with an unnamed
crisis. You don't need to go into details about
the employee's personal troubles. Tell the rest
of the team how much you appreciate their
willingness to assist.
A crisis of either type should increase the
importance of "management by walking
around." Taking 10 minutes per day to walk
through the office and visit with your team
will be reassuring. One last note: even in
times of trouble, people benefit from a dose
of levity. Plan some silly recognition efforts,
snacks or a "Fun Friday" to help boost
morale and keep your team strong.

CREATIVE
SOLUTIONS

Ronna Denny is the senior vice president of
client services for CollectionCenter Inc. She
earned her bachelor's degree from Montana
State University-Billings and believes the
accounts receivable management industry is
vital to the world's economy.

ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG


http://www.ACAINTERNATIONAL.ORG

Collector - August 2020

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