A company crisis is inevitable. It may be something in your personal life or an employee's life that shocks your company, or something globally or nationally that we see. It may be a fire that rolls through a city or a disease that rolls through the world. It may be an economic structure that collapses.
In the event of a crisis, there are still things you need to do to ensure the well-being of your team and the longevity of your company.
Whether your company is significantly growing or sharply declining during this current season, you have a choice to make as a leader: do something or do nothing.
Step 1: SURVIVE
When a crisis hits, the first thing you need to do for yourself and your staff is slow down to speed up. It sounds counter-intuitive, but it's true. In the early stages of a crisis, approximately 50 to 70% of your time should be spent keeping short accounts with your staff. Over-communicate with your team and have regular check-ins, whether you're physically in the office or working remotely.
As a leader, build trust with your team by creating powerful moments such as:
- Hosting a virtual happy hour with your team
- Sending a simple care package or card to your employees' homes
- Giving a shout out to team members when there's a small win or goal accomplished
As a company, be proactive by making your presence known on social media and starting to create a library of content that can be reused and repurposed in the future such as:
- Blog articles
- Tip sheets
- Social media posts
If you don't have social media accounts, create them! Start with Facebook and LinkedIn and then branch out from there, depending on your company's products and services. For example, if you're a clothing retail store, then Instagram might also make sense to showcase yourself or a friend trying on clothing items and showing how to style different pieces together.
- Over-communicate with your team and have regular check-ins.
- Create powerful moments to build trust.
- Make your presence known on social media - if you don’t have accounts, create them.
- Start creating a library of content that can be reused and repurposed in the future.
Top priority: Keep close attention on the emotional well-being of your employees and survive the crisis.
Step 2: REPAIR
As your nearing the end of the crisis there will be repair work that needs to be done in your company. This is the perfect opportunity to look at your business from 30,000 feet and reevaluate.
Start by revisiting your company's Vision - the "why" behind the work that you do. Short term, your Vision will help you make decisions and understand what opportunities to say yes or no to. It will help you survive your current challenges in a way that maintains your core values and keeps you on course. Long-term, your vision will you give you a clear idea of your purpose and hoped-for legacy, enabling you to keep yourself and your employees motivated during hard times. A clear, complete and compelling vision is crucial because it touches every other area of your business.
Next, take this quiz to assess your business model and identify any area in the 6 areas of business that you need to strengthen in your company.
Maybe the latest crisis has brought to light that your cash flow isn't what you thought it was and it's time to strategize ways you can bring in recurring revenue quickly. Maybe your company culture has suffered and you need to find new ways to engage and motivate your employees.
Then, make a plan for how you're going to work "on" your business instead of "in" your business. As a leader of a business, that’s your role: you need to be able to go back and forth between looking at the big picture, thinking about the goals and direction (working “on” the business) and also get into the weeds with your employees, working “in” the business. Then, you need to help your staff connect their daily work with the long-term Vision of where you’re headed. That’s how you’ll keep everyone motivated to work toward the larger goal.
- Revisit your company’s big ‘why.. Start thinking about your Company Vision and if it needs a refresher.
- Assess your holistic business model and identify any area in the 6 areas of business that you need to strengthen in your company.
- Learn how to work “on” your business instead of “in” your business.
Top priority: Take an honest look at your company, decide where the weak spots are, and make a plan to repair and strengthen them.
Step 3: BUILD
Once you realize you aren't operating in crisis-mode any longer, it's time to take action. Reserve time on your calendar to work on personal leadership development and getting your company to run like a well-oiled machine.
Pull out your vision statement and share it with your team. Continue to evaluate it and revise it as your company grows and you move forward. Encourage your team to memorize it - remember, your company vision inspires both you and your team.
Continue to pursue growth in the 6 area of business and build a holistic strategy that will overcome the challenges you face and help your company hold strong in any crisis.
- Take action! Don’t just say you will devote the time - reserve time on your calendar to work on your inner and outer game of leadership then do it!
- Continually evaluate and revise your Vision Statement.
- Continue to pursue growth in the 6 areas of business.
Top priority: Continue to build up your company and team by developing a holistic strategy for running a stable company.
When you find your company in a crisis, following this 3-step-process will allow you to continue to experience meaningful work, be financially successful, and build a Passion & Provision company.
Start building a holistic strategy for your business using the road map covered in our #1 Best-Selling book Fulfilled: The Passion & Provision Strategy For Building a Business with Profit, Purpose & Legacy.