Originally published on newswire.net
Entrepreneurs must constantly be prepared for the unexpected. Natural disasters, contagious disease, and economic downturns are some of the contingencies that are certain to occur at some time, and often without warning. Proper planning for emergency conditions is essential for all small businesses in order to survive crisis conditions. Here, Adam Ferrari, CEO of Ferrari Energy, discusses ways to keep small businesses and their team members inspired and productive when temporary hard times hit.
1. Keep Employees Involved Through Open Communication
When uncertainty hits, rumors and gossip can destroy a company’s morale and team spirit. Take extra steps to emphasize a completely open-door policy for communication with the entire team. To the greatest extent possible, let everyone know what you know about current conditions and short-term decisions that are necessary to ensure the survival of the business. When employees feel involved in decision making and understand that cutbacks and sacrifices affect the company at all levels, they will be more invested in riding out a crisis until conditions begin to normalize.
2. Make Employee Morale a Central Part of the Crisis Plan
Along with the normal planning for supply chain interruption, lost revenue, and depressed demand, make sure that a holistic approach to crisis management for individual team members is part of the plan. Assessing and addressing the needs of members of management and all employees both at work and at home goes a long way to helping them focus along with you on crisis management and contingency planning. Be prepared to implement remote working schedules, temporary housing, and whatever else is needed to keep employees feeling secure during a crisis.
3. Create Flexibility to Provide Emotional and Mental Breaks for Stressed Employees
Remember that a key part of dealing with any crisis is understanding that normal schedules and routines are bound to undergo temporary changes. A productive way to make those changes a pathway to relief rather than increased stress is to actively build in modifications to work routines. Give employees emotional support by encouraging break times for quiet rest and meditation. Make sure that team members are comfortable with staying in touch with their families more than usual and that their support systems are considered a part of the company.
4. Keep Employees Up to Date with News from the Outside World While Working
During crisis events, information overload and misinformation can be very destructive to morale and emotional stability. It can be very helpful to maintain curated information databases for employees regarding current crisis conditions. Using a central channel for crisis information will keep employees focused on the company’s crisis management efforts and will promote the use of a company intranet and other internal resources for crisis information.
5. Make an Extra Effort to Engage Remote Employees Who Normally Work on Location
A very common method of crisis management in the world of modern communications is allowing employees to work from home while crisis conditions are present. Always understand that while remote work supports continued productivity, many employees find the process to be unnatural and very different from their normal work process. Emphasize additional communication and support the use of technology to keep every employee involved and feeling that they are on location whenever possible.
About Adam Ferrari
Adam Ferrari is the founder of the Denver-based mineral acquisitions company Ferrari Energy. He is a chemical engineer by degree and is an accomplished petroleum engineer by profession. He also has experience in the financial sector through his work at an investment banking firm. Under his leadership, his company has supported numerous charitable organizations including St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Freedom Service Dogs, Denver Rescue Mission, Coats for Colorado, and Next Steps of Chicago.