A crisis is unavoidable; the question is not whether but when.
As the globe grapples with the enormous challenges posed by the new coronavirus, businesses are investing more than ever in establishing workplace crisis management plans. According to a survey, 69 percent of leaders had dealt with a crisis in the previous five years. In comparison, 95 percent expected to deal with another problem in the future.
Workplace crises are common; what matters is how you choose to deal with them.
So, what's the best way to handle a workplace crisis? It's critical to understand that a situation may bring out the best or the worst in people. You have the option of rising to the occasion or succumbing to it. To do the former, it's a good idea to use what's known as contextual intelligence; This allows you to apply what you've learned in the classroom to real-life scenarios. Put another way, it's the ability to adapt — to use knowledge and skills to a wide range of situations and locations to find a solution.
Communication is crucial when you have a work problem, whether you are a leader, an employee, or even self-employed. Employees, employers, clients, and consumers all want to believe that you can make the most excellent decision possible to overcome adversity and achieve a positive conclusion. Most essential, they want to think you are looking out for their best interests. Furthermore, even if there isn't a solution, people desire someone who can express the situation (yet).
Try to follow these four simple guidelines when communicating and handling a crisis:
1. Try to stay calm
Maintaining a calm and cheerful demeanor during extreme levels of uncertainty is one of the cornerstones of crisis management. Employees watch how management responds, so leaders should assess the situation—is it personnel, contextual, or structural crisis?—and devise a rapid reaction strategy for resolving the problem. "It's crucial to strategize and start taking little actions right immediately, even if you don't know exactly how to get there," Plack added. Planning facilitates this process by ensuring that plans are in place and ready to go.
2. Communicate the crisis with all those involved, even if there isn't a solution yet.
You don't have to wait until you have all the details before communicating the situation.
Begin by identifying and addressing the underlying reasons that led to the predicament. Then apologize to everyone concerned (but don't assume responsibility if the crisis wasn't your fault; instead, sorry for any pain or inconvenience the event may have caused others).
In a crisis, effective communication entails more than simply expressing one's point of view. Leaders must also actively listen, putting their prejudices aside and considering diverse points of view. Pay attention to the content of other people's ideas as well. "Also, pay attention to their emotional tone," Pack advised. "Both are critical for mutual understanding and, in the end, assisting everyone in regaining their footing."
3. Collaborate internally and externally
Because of the large number of people involved, crisis management can be complex. Employees, customers, business partners, suppliers, shareholders, and other stakeholder groups should be identified. How much information should be shared, and at what intervals? Keeping all parties informed without triggering communication fatigue can be a tricky balance. The ideal technique is to respond quickly and keep everyone informed about when new information will be available. Demonstrate that the company isn't just reacting to a crisis but is actively managing it.
4. Have a flexible or growth mindset
Having one (the conviction that you are in charge of your abilities and can learn and grow) is crucial to solving problems and keeping them from recurring.
5. Evaluate the situation
Follow up with everyone concerning the crisis to determine if they require any more resources, consolation, or assistance to get through the situation.
You never know where the answer to a problem at work will come from. To appropriately handle a crisis, you must tell those who will or may be affected what people need to know, and vice versa. Having loyal, capable individuals around you who can put things into perspective is an excellent way to get through a crisis.