15 Apr Motivating and Engaging your People in Challenging Times
Motivational and leadership speaker, Jeff Grout, is the former Managing Director of a leading international recruitment consultancy and business manager to Sir Clive Woodward. Jeff is also a leading business author and highly popular speaker and coach. Jeff has set out six clear and concise actions that business leaders need to be taking to adapt to the immense changes we are currently facing. He sincerely believes the only way to navigate these difficult times is to take your people with.
Our world has changed more in recent weeks than any of us thought possible. As a leader Jeff advocates that the only way to get through these difficult times is to take your people with you. He believes that only by motivating and engaging your people can you create an environment where everybody chooses to give of their best.
Motivational speaker, Jeff Grout, has set out six key actions business leaders should be taking right now.
Provide Clear Direction
At this moment people need strong direction. Your people are asking themselves “So, what’s the plan?” Firstly, what’s the immediate plan for the next 6-9 months to deal with the Coronavirus and secondly, what’s the plan for our post-crisis future? The role of the leader is to provide a compass to navigate these unchartered times and create optimism and a vision for the future.
Keep your people informed
Regular communication is critical during such turbulent times. Address people’s concerns, be positive but, above all, be honest. Utilise a number of communication channels, repeat your key messages and recognise that good communication is two way. In addition to Town Hall briefings, speak to smaller groups, conduct Q&A meetings with a handful of employees and ensure you hold regular one-to-ones. At such times you can never over communicate. Speaking with confidence and authority has never been more important.
Get to Know your people
Your people are human beings not headcount. How well do you really know them? What’s the name of their partner, their children? What are their hobbies and interests? What are their concerns and fears? How are they coping in the current circumstances? What do they need from you? Your role is to provide understanding and support and to translate their anxiety into confidence. Never underestimate the power of praise. Catch your people doing something well and give them the recognition they deserve.
Create a sense of inclusion
Working remotely during the lockdown there is a danger that your people will feel isolated. You need to remind everyone that they are part of one team; everyone pulling together. It is important to regularly check in with your people rather than check up on them. It is important to keep in touch, to listen and to give constant feedback. Also encourage your people to regularly keep in touch with each other.
Remind your people what the company stands for
As a leader you are a role model and you should actively demonstrate the company’s values, particularly around honesty and transparency. Remind your people where the business has come from and how the company showed the resilience to overcome difficult times in the past. Stress the need for a unity of purpose and give your people confidence that despite the human and financial devastation there will ultimately be a positive outcome.
Give your people control
Don’t allow your people to be distracted and diverted by the noise of the media, the conflicting expert advice and the stark statistics. Instead focus your people only on the things they can control.
Ensure clarity of understanding around people’s roles, responsibilities and deliverables. What three things can everybody do to improve business performance? How can people organise themselves to maximise their productivity working from home? What are appropriate KPIs in the current business climate?