4 Tips to Managing in the Positive During Trying Times
Whether you lead a small team or a large enterprise, positive management is needed more than ever these days. Many American workers are currently surrounded by multiple sources of doubt, making it difficult to focus and remain optimistic. Positive teams tend to be more productive, and often require positive leadership to continue moving forward.
Even if you don’t consider your management style overly optimistic, every great leader should know how to boost team morale during trying times. Here are four tips for managing in the positive and helping employees plow through uncertainty with determination and purpose.
Snuff out hopelessness
During moments of uncertainty, employees are likely to feel a wide range of emotions. One day may bring optimism while the next brings unshakable doubt. The roller coaster ride is certainly normal. But staying on the ride forever isn’t.
Find an appropriate way to snuff out hopelessness in your employees. Consider:
- Ditching your traditional schedule to allow employees to focus on self-care and better manage the needs of their families.
- Making gratitude a part of company culture, even when working remotely.
- Sharing helpful outlets employees can utilize to manage their emotions and develop responsible and effective plans of action
- Checking in with employees individually, like in one-to-one meetings
Don’t sugarcoat it
At the same time, it’s okay to acknowledge the tough times your employees are going through. Let them know they’re not alone. Are you struggling with your own nerves? Share this with them. Now is the time to show vulnerability. Ignoring or minimizing the feelings, concerns, and situations of your employees will only make them feel isolated and less confident in their ability to come through the other side unscathed.
Spend time putting it all out there as a team. Are employees concerned about being dispensable? Do they worry your industry won’t survive unprecedented changes in the market? Is technology threatening their position? Once you have a list of raw and honest concerns, managing in the positive can help you proactively address concerns as a team.
Don’t underestimate the power of one-on-one meetings
Every team member brings a unique skill to the table. Now’s the time to maximize the positive contributions of every employee. Schedule a brief one-on-one meeting with each member of your team to ask them about their current hurdles. Not only will you get a clearer picture of the tasks you’re up against as a leader, you’ll enjoy the other benefits of one-on-one meetings, including:
- Stronger relationships between leaders and team members
- Meaningful and personalized feedback that helps retain top talent
- Unlocking hidden employee talents
One-on-one meetings can help you give each employee a customized morale boost that makes them feel validated and appreciated.
Prioritize and delegate
Part of being an effective leader is knowing which fires need immediate attention and which can wait. By now, you should have eyes on most of the issues your employees are facing. Some will be bonfires while others may be smoking embers.
Prioritize and bring your team together to handle the most pressing. As you start to make progress, split the team up appropriately to tackle more manageable flames.
You may also find that you have team members with (temporarily) fewer responsibilities. Let them handle the smoking embers, or problems that haven’t been tackled in the past due to a lack of downtime. As the smoke clears, employees may find themselves more optimistic and hopeful.
Managing in the Positive
There’s no denying the world is spinning a bit more chaotically these days.
But let the chaos be a catalyst to positive change within your organization by managing in the positive and avoiding the slippery slope doubt can bring to the workplace.