— Anxiety (Fear) Short Circuits the Brain’s Decision-Making Ability–
If you have a team of people and you’re affected by COVID-19 you’ll benefit from these tips to ride out the storm, jump on opportunities and deal with the reality of lost revenue.
I’ll be covering:
- Going Remote
- Downsizing for fantastic teams
- Downsizing for teams with “Bad Apples”
Recently Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook and others cancelled conferences and mandated working from home. Consider doing the same if you have any employees that primarily work on their computer and interact with others via phone or on-line. Check this free webinar out if you want to learn techniques to get the most out of your virtual team that a friend of mine is offering.
Unfortunately if you’re in an industry where the majority of your people either work together to make something or deal directly with the public, this isn’t possible so you’ll likely need to consider some form of downsizing.
Downsizing is one of the most difficult thing you’ll do as a Business Owner but there are ways to do it in a way that’s easier for everyone.
How to Downsize if you have a Fantastic Team
One of the key characteristics of a fantastic team is collaborative decision making, so
1. Talk to your Employees
Can you do this in a way where you have each others back? If you have a fantastic team that you’ve worked at getting right there’s nothing more frustrating than having to let anyone go. So instead explore possibilities where everyone’s salaries are reduced for a period of time.
Start with a conversation where you explain what’s happening to your revenue and that you want to handle it by having everyone participate in the solution. Then have the meeting and explain that there are 2 different options: 1) Lay off a few people; or 2) Have everyone take a salary cut. Then ask them for their input.
If you truly have a great team it won’t be long before everyone comes to the mutual decision of taking a pay cut.
2. Relief Programs
Depending on where your business is located you may find that there are government relief programs designed to off-set sudden economic slow downs. In Canada you can take advantage of the Temporary Measures for COVID-19 but you’ll need to apply. Apply now if you want to see the relief sooner and have patience as it may take a little longer because of the volume of applications.
3. More Drastic Measures
- Keep your people informed as things change and do it in a positive way to give them the opportunity to give you input and offer support.
- The need to lay off will not come as a surprise if you keep your people informed. And although still an emotional decision, your team will understand.
- Brainstorm on how to provide support whether a kind and compassionate ear, or a buddy system to share resources. Together you can weather the storm and strengthen relationships in the process.
How to Downsize when you have some “Bad Apples”
If you have some “Bad Apples” on your team, you have a unique opportunity to clean house.
Face it if you have people who are less than ideal, you’ve likely missed some opportunities to improve their performance. Now’s your chance to fix that situation by laying them off. Here’s how you do it with the maximum amount of compassion:
1. Rank Your Employees into 3 categories
A simple A, B, C system is all you need where a) These are your star employees. They are reliable, do great work and you can trust them; b) These are your steady employees who do what’s needed and require very little energy to keep on track; and c) These are your “Bad Apples”. They frustrate you because of their ongoing repeat performance issues.
Use your ranking system to decide who will be let go.
2. Talk to your Employees
Start with a conversation where you explain what’s happening to your revenue and that you will need to let some people go and only keep a skeleton staff. Then tell them that you’ll be meeting with everyone individually to discuss how this change will affect them.
3. Keep it Professional with Compassion
There is nothing more stressful than losing your job. And losing your job in these uncertain times is even more stressful so follow a few simple rules:
- Get one or more of your company’s leaders to help you by implementing a buddy system. Each lay off conversation is done by 2 people so you can support each other while navigating an emotional conversation;
- Keep it honest but brief by repeating the facts of how your business is impacted and that you need to let them go.
- Get all the paperwork ready in advance to allow your affected people to access unemployment insurance quickly.
4. Gather Your Remaining Team
Let them know that you want to handle this crisis by having everyone participate in the solution. Then discuss further lay-offs or salary cuts and get them to provide their input to come up with a plan. Implement the plan while continuing to inform everyone of changes as they arise.
Get in touch if you need help implementing any of these tips or if you need more specific help.
Founder and CEO
Crysalis People Solutions Inc.
Hi, I’m Angela Heit and I’m a self-professed serial entrepreneur. I’m currently running my third business and just launched my fourth. I was fortunate to have built my second venture into a multi-seven figure business in 4 short years before I sold it. So, I understand what it takes to grow a successful business and how the day-to-day demands keep you so focused in “do mode” that building leadership skills becomes a low priority.
‘Improving your leadership skills will increase the trajectory of your business growth and elevate your day-to-day happiness’
For more than 25 years I’ve helped 100s of small business and fortune 500 clients build better teams. Based on that experience, I’ve launched DreamTeam.Solutions, a resource site for Business Owners and Leaders to learn from both the mistakes and successes of my clients.
From Leadership Skills Training that gets you results in just 15 minutes per day; to Practical Quick Tips; to Free Templates; to Coaching and Solutions, everything helps you build your skills and make a bigger leadership impact that propels your business growth.
To your success,
Some past corp clients I’ve worked with