Confidence and strength are two of the most important qualities of good construction leadership, especially when the present and future is unsettled. From managing layoffs to potential pay cuts, there are a number of unique challenges that firms are grappling with as the country continues to reopen. The best piece of advice that construction recruiters can give you is that communication, whether it’s formal or informal, is critical during a crisis. From President John F. Kennedy to Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., if history is any indicator, then some of our country’s best leaders were forged in crisis. But communicating with employees during an emergency can be difficult. Company communication is critical right now so, here are some tips during these uncertain times.
Create a Plan
Communicate early and often with your team all the time, but especially during a crisis because uncertainty leads to fear. Employees can still achieve many of their goals even during a crisis when they are provided strong guidance and direction. Then, determine how and when you will provide updates. For instance, during the first several weeks of the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump planned formal press conferences on a daily basis. Formal communication is essential during a crisis even if it’s not always perfect information. It enables leaders to share a sense of possibility and hope, along with allowing employees, media, etc. to ask questions. Construction leadership should provide at least weekly updates during times of crisis even when there isn’t any breaking news to share. Informal communication is also important during this time. It provides employees with a sense of well-being and connection outside of the scheduled meetings.
Be Transparent, Open and Honest
Employees that are returning to work in states that were sheltered in place are going to be anxious. There might be some hard truths that leaders have to share with their workforce going forward. Connecting and listening to employees on a regular basis is one of the most effective ways to ensure transparency and help ease the anxiety. Don’t hesitate to admit what you don’t know like when and where layoffs are going to happen. Compassion is another quality that can be added to the list of qualities that exceptional leaders usually have in common.
If you’re still struggling to communicate with your employees, then practice empathy. Take some time to really consider their perspective. For example, think about some of the things that would concern you when placed in their roles. Communication – both internally and externally – are critical now, so take the time to make it a regular practice.
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