Don’t over-play a crisis

Crisis’s come in all sizes. Some of them are during the once routine course of business and could be as simple as an upset customer. Then we have the new definition of crisis with our current pandemic. In all instances, a crisis is an ideal time to make appropriate changes.

The key is to keep the magnitude of the change appropriate for the crisis. Change will always have an inherent amount of resistance. The key is to make sure the change is still logical for the size of the crisis. If the chain of logic is not consistent, the ability for employees to embrace the change, and more importantly rally around the change, is going to be lost as well.

Here are a few questions you might want to consider before making a change during a crisis:

  • Is the magnitude of the change appropriate for the size of the crisis?
  • Can the change be communicated to the employees simply and easily?
  • What is the likelihood the change will be viewed as an emotional reaction by the ownership or management?
  • Will the remaining employees quickly rally around the change?
  • Will this change ultimately make the company stronger?
  • What is the likelihood that the company will look back on this change in 5 years and regret it/laugh at it?

The tougher questions are already part of any decision-making process.  If the decision is not one that can be easily communicated, drives employees to action, and ultimately makes the company stronger, you will likely find yourself with a less than motivated team. As we are all finding out, a crisis is a time when we need our team fully motivated and working in the best interest of the company.

Remember, the value you bring to your employees is determined by the employees. While management may have their own ideas on the value, it is not yours to determine. Much like the products we sell, the features and benefits are determined in development, but the value is determined in the sale. If your change does not sell, you are losing value with your employees.

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