Business Performance Consulting, Leadership, leadership

How to keep spirits high on a sinking ship

Even when the water is rising, there are ways to help team members remain focused and outperform the storm. Don’t you find the list of things people want to do when told they only have a little amount of time on earth with us amazing? Why didn’t they do these things before?

For organizations that are significantly downsizing or closing, the most skillful leaders apply the best practices of treating people well, helping them succeed, and unlocking their potential. By accepting the fact most people will be taking time off for interviews, being open about the path ahead and embracing people to help them through garners higher levels of support, performance and a team approach.

Here are a few suggestions of how to create an opportunity out of troubled times:

  • Remain focused on the profound purpose at hand for the greater team
  • Embrace total open honesty and authenticity
  • Engage customers and staff in opportunities to do things differently
  • Acknowledge emotions and the human side of what your people may be facing
  • Engage staff to help them understand and jointly solve the big picture problems
  • Use this as an opportunity to show people that they matter most
  • Don’t be stingy when rewarding good work

I always liked the saying that a person’s true colors come out when tested. When an organization’s survival is being tested, it is an exciting time to introduce a new way of working that challenges the status quo. You’ll likely wonder why you hadn’t done so sooner and it provides a golden opportunity to show staff what the definition of work could really mean, one that values people and openness above short-term profits. It creates the only environment that will unlock the amazing performance required to right the ship.

If you’ve managed a sinking ship before, what are some of the techniques you’ve used?


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