Adversity can bring out the best -- or the worst in people. Much depends on leadership. If your business is going through a time of transition or other stresses, there is a unique opportunity to use it to make your team that much stronger.
When a group overcomes a challenge or an obstacle together, it bonds them and makes them a stronger unit. Some examples include weathering the proverbial storm or solving a challenging problem.
The key is to be sure that your team encourages each other and works together in a positive way. Stressful times can just as easily result in deterioration if pettiness, competition, and fear take hold.
The following are five ways to strengthen the team during stressful times.
1. Be Honest And Transparent
One of the quickest ways to drain motivation and fuel unrest is rumors and fear. When people don't know what is going on with their company, their imagination will take over -- and it's always the worst-case scenario. This is how rumors get started and how employees adopt an "everyone for themselves" attitude.
You can combat this by being honest about what is happening within your organization and what it will take to fix the problems.
2. Empower Your Teams
Give them the power to make decisions and solve problems. Let them take ownership of their positions. The more comfortable your team gets in making decisions, the more time you will have to focus on other things to grow the business.
3. Recognize Teamwork
Even when times tight make sure to recognize and reward your team. Reward employees that work together and cooperate with one another. Acknowledgment and small rewards make people feel valued and appreciated, and that will motivate them to work even harder.
4. Deal With Problems Quickly
If you have an employee who is causing problems, it can bring the whole team down. Don't wait for the problem to become bigger, deal with it now.
5. Be Approachable
While you don't want to hover, you do want to be available. This makes employees feel safer and more confident in their work. Give plenty of room and freedom, but be accessible.
After you have gotten through the crisis make sure to sit down with the team and debrief. You want to know what went right and what went wrong. You want to know what changes to make to your procedures and processes. This information is critical to, and your team will appreciate being part of the solution.
Following these guidelines will ensure that your employees continue working together as a cohesive team, overcome challenges and emerge stronger and more effective.
Learn more about how to turn failure into success with my new book The Entrepreneurs Book of Actions.