Here is your must do list, that is if you want to get the rest of your team get up from the ground…and get team work back in…
There are two words for you to burn into your mind: Empathy and Integrity.
1. Create a “black list” of the concerns, fears and frustration. Create a “white list” of recovery and progress items, that could take everyone forward.
2. Add your own “black” and “white” items (how will I succeed now as a manager? what new opportunities do I see in spite of this crisis?)
3. Get your trusted leaders to add more to the list.
4. Get the team together and read out loud the “black list”. Then ask them to comment on it. If they don’t, comment as if you were them. Then respond to each item. Then share the “white list” and get people to comment on it.
5. Let the team send more items via anonymous means.
6. Respond to the additional topics candidly. You are NOT wasting your time. You are actually saving time lost over fear and frustration water-cool discussions as well as slow and careless work, and contagious low moral.
7. Don’t blame anyone for the getting into this situation, but do refer to what needs now be done. Otherwise all what your team will be doing, is arguing, defending and attacking.
8. If the “powers that be” made a mistake in going through the layoffs, discuss it with them, until you are convinced in the necessity of this painful act, or if they admit of their harm doing and aim to correct it, now or in the future. Only then you can stand up and gain your team’s trust and energy. If you don’t agree with the decisions taken, speak up and tell it to your team. You may get into trouble if you have unworthy management, and in this case, you are better off going somewhere else. You can’t lead anyway, if you can’t truly accept the decisions taken, or object them.
9. Acknowledge that these layoffs may have been reduced, if you had prepared your team, to be valuable for the next future challenges the company needs to tackle. Your team’s career should go through an innovation process, same as products and services do. This means you should get your team trained in the realms that would turn their current expertise irrelevant. This also means team members would have to put into this learning process, extra work hours, to bullet proof their future.
Not every fear or concern can be resolved, but going through the steps I revealed here, will put you in a much better position, than most managers, right?
What would you add to this list?