In the current crisis and uncertainty situation, the roles and missions of managers are essential to stabilize the organization and support employees in the difficulties they face. These difficulties are not only operational, but also, and above all, psychological and personal: Uncertainty, fear and ambiguity weigh heavily on people's minds and make employees more fragile and anxious. A manager who is sensitive and proactive towards the needs of his employees will have an unparalleled opportunity to get to know them better, recreate strong bonds with them, and help them strengthen their resilience to face uncertainty. It is indeed this role, which will ensure that the collaborative and managerial dynamic will result in a strong organization, capable of facing the crisis, but above all preparing for the post-crisis period.
The "stabilizing virtue" of managers requires close coaching and support to reinforce their behaviors, postures and practices, in order to ensure an effective response to the crisis and its effects. It is also a question of enabling them to channel the panic of their employees in a situation of uncertainty and support their teams to get through the crisis effectively. This should also revolve around their ability to manage their communication with the various stakeholders in order to stabilize the collective dynamic.
The consultancy missions that I have had the opportunity to deploy to support the managerial layers in situations of uncertainty, highlight several challenges to be overcome. In this context, managers should ask themselves key questions such as:
What are the challenges we face in managing our teams and our stakeholders (customers, suppliers, authorities...)?
What changes in behavior have we had to notice from these stakeholders?
What are the markers that are of critical support to us during this period? (values, culture, relationships, legitimacy, ...)
How can we reduce our stress and that of our stakeholders?
How can we increase confidence, practice emotional intelligence, continuously adapt our posture?
What tools and approaches should we implement? (visual management, team rituals, agility principles, ...)
What are the lessons of the crisis and how can we strengthen our post-crisis managerial posture?
In an uncertain environment, it is important that these questions are addressed by managers in a collaborative approach. Answers should not only reflect the individual experience of each manager, but also the collective intelligence of all managers with the support from experts with specialized approaches. It is thanks to these approaches that unprecedented solutions can take place while capitalizing on a strong commitment from managers to deploy them effectively.
By Farid Yandouz