The rise of the Corona virus and the ensuing financial crisis have changed the working conditions of many organizations around the world. Some organizations were able to adapt to the corona world, and many suffered major blows. In general, what are the decisions of the leaders and managers of the organizations with the emergence of similar crises? To reduce damage and overcome the crisis What can they do and what can they do? In this article, we seek to answer this question and introduce four behaviors that help managers in crisis management.
Prior to Corona, leaders and executives of organizations sought to enhance creativity, competitiveness, revenue management, and market share; But today, most of them are involved in managing expenses and maintaining their assets. Under the new circumstances, on the one hand, many of them face operational problems such as manpower shortages, disruption of the supply chain of goods and services, and declining sales; On the other hand, the same leaders and group members must be concerned about the health of themselves and those around them, and tackle the challenges of telecommuting. The combination of these challenges strongly influences the attitudes and decision-making methods of managers and leaders.
Changing approaches and choosing new strategies is not easy. Leaders of organizations and managers of small and large businesses face challenges that are unprecedented. Obviously, in such circumstances, the need for rapid and effective training in crisis management and organizational survival is essential. Here are four important and effective behaviors that give managers the ability to adapt to new changes and developments:
1. Decide quickly
Decision making is one of the most important characteristics of successful leaders; But decisions are not always made under favorable circumstances. In times of crisis, like the corona epidemic, conditions change rapidly. Therefore, it is necessary for the leaders and managers of the organizations to increase their decision-making speed. Leaders in this era have succeeded in being able to quickly process the information of the situation and make the necessary decisions in a timely manner. It is easier said than done. The larger the organization, the more complex the decision-making level; As a result, it becomes more difficult to make immediate decisions. In such a situation, the following recommendations may be helpful:
- Set priorities: 3 to 5 Identify the most important goals of the organization in the new situation. At the beginning of a crisis, these goals can include maintaining employee health, managing liquidity, addressing important customer issues, and continuing executive activities. Identify essential problems and make sure the management team is looking for a quick fix. As more aspects of the crisis emerge, be prepared to change and adjust priorities.
- Lighten the various options: What conflict might there be between predetermined priorities? Conflict between important priorities and urgent priorities? Or between the organization’s survival today and future success? The best leader is the one who, instead of thinking about all the possibilities, categorizes his priorities so that he can lighten them.
- Form a crisis roomAs the leader of the organization, you do not have to make all the decisions alone. Identify for the organization who, what issues, and when to make decisions. Build the decision-making reference pyramid in the organization downwards, not upwards!
- Take action and forgive mistakes: A quick decision is definitely not perfect because the situation has taken away the possibility of a general review; So you have to deal with possible mistakes. Also know that the consequences of not making a decision are worse.
Strong leaders, in critical situations, are not afraid of ignorance; Rather, everyone is trying to access the maximum information from different sources. They also use the help of external experts to adapt to new conditions. The following behaviors increase the strength of your compatibility with your organization:
- Specify the prohibited items: It may seem cruel; But in an crisis, some executive matters must be set aside. Determine them with you. Decide firmly and articulate them.
- Put aside yesterday’s approachesPut aside what dreams and strategies you had for the organization before the crisis. Many of the programs you designed and worked on yesterday are no longer effective today; So you have to invent new ways for your organization to function.
- Reconstruct and adapt communication linesThe military has a term called “Situational Awareness”. This phrase means to be informed and aware of the conditions of the battle zone. This information with Operation Identification (Reconnaissance) is obtained. As the leader of the organization, you must be aware of the new environmental conditions. Your battlefield can be the service and sales department, shareholder status, کنان staff and supply chain. This is done by determining mechanisms for gathering information or consulting with people who are well aware of the impact of the crisis on each sector. Strong leaders know their battlefields well and monitor changes in each area.
3. Take the helm
Powerful leaders step forward in crisis management and try to manage the issue. They adapt their team, set new standards and promote a culture of responsibility and accountability.
To avoid getting lost in a crisis storm, do the following:
- Be careful of priorities: You should write down your priorities concisely and make sure they do not conflict with each other. Design a structure to monitor the implementation of priorities and identify conflicting actions on a daily or weekly basis and alert each department. Make a list for yourself and review and update it daily.
- Define key performance indicators (KPIs)Identify 3 to 5 of the most important key indicators of weekly performance and ask the managers of each department to report on a regular basis.
- Take care of your physical and mental conditionAs the leader of the organization, you have a heavier responsibility. So you have to keep your energy to get through difficult situations. Have regular ways to keep yourself fit, such as proper nutrition, adequate sleep, exercise, or anything that energizes you and keeps you well. Increase your ability to cope with difficult situations.
4. Be effective
In times of crisis, nothing is more important than taking care of your group. Influential leaders, in this era, pay attention to the circumstances and distractions of group members. However, they are trying to find new ways to motivate and make the group effective. They also clearly state new goals for members. The importance of this issue is that crises outside the organization, such as the corona world, although a health crisis, have also led to financial crises. Explaining new goals and priorities to members leads to better coordination to overcome these stressful situations.
You and the group of managers help the members by doing the following behaviors:
- Keep in touch with group members: With the help of communication technologies, continuously (daily or weekly), first ask about the condition of your employees; Then go to work reports. Be sure to take the time to do this.
- When leaders lose contact with other members of the organization (for example, during telecommuting), the level of communication decreases and the likelihood of making decisions regardless of group status increases. Be careful not to make such a mistake.
- Divide responsibility: Assign some responsibilities to other members of the group. Identify influential and capable people who can help you lead and use their capacity to lead the team.
- Divide your attention between the customer and staff groups: To address customer requests in times of crisis, first obtain customer information. Taking action without notice may hurt your customers. Then set up incentives such as extending repayments and special exemptions to help. To help employees, focus on empathy and support for their mental and physical condition. Also watch out for employees who have to show up for work and provide them with basic health facilities. Remember that these small tasks have a significant impact on the performance of members of the organization.
- Emphasize successes, small improvements, and successful overcoming difficulties. Make many businesses have lofty goals. Focus on the positive and do not make the slightest sacrifice without encouragement. Even maintaining the normal functioning of the organization in times of crisis is itself a success.
The competencies of many managers and team members are determined during crisis management. After it subsides, look back and see who overcame the hardships and who did not succeed as they should. Evaluate the crisis management period and make firm decisions about what changes you need to make to your organization to adapt to the new circumstances.