Article by Rastislav Zachar, Co-Founder & Co-Owner of Performia Czech Republic & Owner of Business Success, translated from Czech to English.
Just as it is vitally important to remain in communication with our customers or suppliers, it is vitally important that you, as a manager of the group, stay in intense communication with your people.
When you are a leader of a group, you must be seen and felt everywhere. And the main parameters that must literally radiate from you to people in all directions are peace, stability and help.
Nowadays, many of us do not have it easy even at home. Children do not go to school, we have restrictions and cannot go out, we cannot follow our established rituals like going to the sauna, cinema, football or beauty salons. All of this also can raise people’s inner nervousness beyond what we are used to.
Therefore, in the same way you are really interested in the situation of your customers or suppliers, you should communicate with your colleagues. Keep an eye on them as soon as they arrive at work, and if they are “boiling”, steam must be released. Let the person communicate what is bothering him, what he experiences, what has happened at home. As bosses, you don’t have to start solving everything for that person.
The question is what from this you can solve (football, sauna or walks you cannot solve). Just really listen to him with your full attention and interest, and when you see he is feeling better, direct his attention away from the problems to the production. This has always been, is and remains one of the most fundamental stable points in the management.
The fact that people are starting to communicate more openly about personal things today is not just a waste of time, as it may seem. With open communication on topics that people around you do not normally talk about, you strengthen your relationship and the relationship of the colleague with the group as such.
People will also appreciate your humanity and sincere interest in this period long after the current situation around us has passed. You can also use current openness in communication to find solutions to other long-standing situations that need to be resolved.
In terms of communication – organize daily meetings with your staff. If they work from home, feel free to use Skype or other tools, but stay connected with them much more than ever before.
They might need help with planning on a daily or hourly basis, reviewing what is done. They also need to be repeatedly assured by their management that you can handle the situation together and that the company will certainly not leave anyone in trouble if they get into it (this applies primarily to the stable and productive people on board).
But most of all, give into the meetings maximum of good news, even from private life. What was successful, what was entertaining, find fun pictures and positive news on the Internet.
We do not need to elaborate here that today, fear or depression is a probably bigger problem than the corona itself. So hit this problem hard with just positive news.
And the last tip on keeping your team in a good shape is related to the help factor.
Obviously, help is so deeply rooted in each of us that when we feel that we can be useful, we often change in a blink of the eye.
Look around you today and you will see that many of us are helping the elderly spontaneously, we bring food and donations to healthcare professionals, we support each other. This is a great positive of the state we are in.
People come to life because the current state of the environment pulls them back to cooperate with others, and the sense our usefulness gives the benefits to all of us much more than anything else.
Therefore, remind your people repeatedly that if you help each other in the group, you will survive. You can also put them to work in pairs to do something together..office cleaning where one vacuum and the other clears chairs.. or give new colleagues to the more experienced ones to teach them something.
There are many variations and the point is that people should do something TOGETHER, they should work TOGETHER. Where there is real help among people, there are tons of vital energy that we need today in excess.
If you have found at least one thing in this letter that you can practically use in your current management of your teams, I am very happy about that. And I very much believe that very soon it will lose its importance to write similar letters because the situation around us will begin to stabilize and improve.
Co-founder and co-owner of Performia CZ
Owner of Business Success in CZ