Creating harmony in work/life balance can be challenging
under normal circumstances. However, when another external layer out of your
control is added, such as socioeconomic issues, civil unrest or political
uprisings, this can cause stress levels to increase exponentially. In turn,
entrepreneurs, business owners and team members can be deterred by the
uncertainty that comes with such situations.
During challenging times, company owners and their teams
typically record lower productivity rates, which translate into financial
costs. Alongside crisis management strategies that
need to be adapted and put into place, there are many steps that business
owners and managers can take, to ensure potential losses are kept at bay and
risks are mitigated.
conversations light and positive
When challenges are mounting outside the office, it is
normal for team members to bring their personal concerns with them to the
office. Accordingly, set up office rules to ensure a proper balance is
maintained at work and that negative comments or criticisms are not shared to
disrupt working life. Team members should feel that they are able to express
themselves, but encourage them to do so in a respectable and considerate way.
Business owners and managers should set the example and continue to remind team
members through different mediums.
2. Create an
open and safe environment with meetings
During turbulent times, uncertainty over the future of the
company and the fate of team members can surface. Top talent can also
underperform or decide to leave. To contribute to a healthier working
environment, conduct weekly (or even daily) meetings to ensure employees that
all measures are being taken to safeguard the company and its team’s future.
Address priority tasks that need to be carried out. Also, allow team members to
ask questions, to create an open and safe environment.
and deploy business continuity plans
Business continuity plans should be put in place, before any
crisis situation unfolds. Team members need to be trained on the actions to be
taken in force majeure situations. However, when a crisis does hit, firstly update
business continuity plans in light of the current situation, and then
communicate it actively with team members. If an employee cannot get to work or
chooses to work remotely, ensure access to needed files, servers and provide
support, to not disrupt the workflow. Each team member needs to realize and
understand their important contribution to the company’s overall operations.
4. Take time
to recharge and disconnect
Staying abreast with the latest news and being connected to
social media at all times, can lead higher stress levels, and in turn, burnout.
Company owners, managers and team members need to be reminded to take time off
to recharge and disconnect from their phones. Encourage team members to engage
in hobbies or activities outside the office that they enjoy, such as reading,
sports, music etc.
5. Create a
corporate wellness program
The importance of mental health is dominating global
conversations. During volatile times, the importance of mental health should be
on the top of the agenda. Establish long-term policies to promote wellness and
positivity in the workplace. Managers can also be trained to navigate
situations when team members need the additional support. Wellness newsletters,
covering self-care, healthier diets, exercise and so on, can also be created to
support the team.
with the team
External situations can disrupt business activities and slow
down the typical pace at work. However, that is not always a bad thing, if it
is properly utilized. Use the downtime to your advantage, to brainstorm with
team members on new projects, enhance internal processes, or create creative
cells, to share ideas to help grow the business.
Business owners of small and medium enterprises
(SMEs), should create a crisis management plan that is continually updated. To
uncover the 10 step process, read on here.