In a recent article for CLO magazine entitled Rebuilding Business: Aligning to Goals, Scott Blanchard talks about the challenges businesses face in creating a growth mindset. The economic conditions of the last 18 months have drained a lot of people mentally and emotionally. While people are thankful to still have a job, leaders need to tap into something more than that if they want to get their organization firing on all cylinders again.
To help with the process, Blanchard recommends that leaders help their people make this shift by providing leadership in three key areas: defining reality, setting a clear direction, and managing people’s energy.
Defining Reality—acknowledge the present situation and fill people in on where the company is. People are probably unsure of exactly where the company stands financially. Without accurate information, people usually imagine the worst. Share what you know as completely as possible. People understand the challenges of today’s economy, and it is reassuring to know that their leader is on top of it too.
Setting a Clear Direction—the second step is to share the company’s plans and key objectives for the coming year. Charting a course, or setting up a plan, is vitally important because leadership is about going somewhere. In order to get people out of the inertia of their worry, leaders need to point to the direction that the organization is going. The good news is that there is tremendous opportunity in recovery from a recession. But in order for that to happen, there needs to be a plan in place and that plan needs to be communicated clearly.
Managing People’s Energy—the final step to getting people back on track is to pay special attention to how people are feeling. It’s important to acknowledge where people are at individually and at the same time give them hope and get them excited about the direction the organization is going.
Find out how people are feeling by encouraging managers and supervisors to schedule one-on-one conversations with their direct reports. Discuss organizational objectives and individual roles. Ask about employee concerns and challenges, both at work and in general. During these conversations managers can identify individual needs and look at ways to provide direction and support. In addition to showing that you care, authentic conversations leave people feeling good about you as a manager, as well as good about where the company is going.
PS: Interested in learning more about the role that leaders can play in creating an energized and focused organization? Join Ken Blanchard for a complimentary webinar on January 19. Details here.