How can you master managing teams in a crisis? When you put together a team, it’s difficult to see how they would behave in a crisis. After all, its not often a true crisis occurs. Internally, it could be difficulty with colleagues or difficulty with clients that Feel like a crisis, but when you experience a true crisis, you know it.

Our industry is used to a ‘crisis’. We have incidents that impact access to a crucial resource for potentially large numbers of people. We are used to dealing with this type of crisis. Our teams are well versed in dealing with these kinds of issues, and they handle them expertly. Our teams are designed to promote rapid problem solving under high stress and sometimes chaotic conditions.

The difficulty arises when you enter unknown territory. How do you best manage a team when crisis strikes?

We have three tips for crisis managers.

1.   Communication

This may seem like a no-brainer, but when it comes to managing teams in a crisis you cannot under-value the impact of communication. From showing your appreciation to keeping your team as safe as possible, good communication is key.

There are a multitude of digital communication platforms, but don’t limit yourself to messaging and video calling. Be creative in showing how much your team means to you, and your stakeholders.

2.   Empathise

During a national crisis, work may be one of many considerations your team may be consumed with. The safety and health of their family and friends and their own mental and physical health can have a large impact on their performance. If you empathise and provide support (not necessarily financial!) you will find your team is more likely to voice their issues, and sort them quickly.

3.   Have fun

A crisis is not an excuse to remove humour and fun from the workplace. If your company is usually a fun and enjoyable place to work, and you stop having fun due to a crisis, you emphasise the negative effects of the crisis. Taking a good-humoured, considered approach to the crisis, you may help many people deal with the issues in a better way.

Managing teams in a crisis

Your team is your greatest asset. Protect and nurture them and no matter the crisis, you will come through stronger.