To become a great business leader, you must figure out how to not only lead people when things are going well but how to be an even better leader when things are going badly. No matter how much you prepare your business and your team, there is going to come to a point when things don’t go according to plan, and you must think on your feet. The true mark of a great leader is being able to lead when things are going poorly.
Communication plays a huge role in leading people, especially in times of distress. While you don’t have to discuss every financial detail with every person on your staff, making sure that every person that needs to know something hears it from someone in leadership creates a calmer environment. Inevitably, news of what is going on is going to get out within the company. The best way to keep a crisis from turning into a full-blown disaster is to address it openly and honestly.
Ask for Feedback
If you’re going to let your team know what’s happening, encourage them to share their feedback. If they’re not comfortable doing so in a public forum, let them know that they can come to you privately, and their input will be kept confidential but is valued. The members of your team may have a good idea that will help you navigate these times. Even if they don’t, you need to hear and address their questions and concerns. Those team members are the key to your company surviving this period.
You must help guide your team through the present; you have to do so with an eye towards the future. Without minimizing what’s going on in the moment, let your team know how the company is going to grow, evolve, and continue to be successful when a crisis passes. Sharing your vision with your employees is even more important when things are going badly, as they need to have something positive that they can look to.
Celebrate the Wins
No matter the size of the achievement, it should be celebrated. This is extremely important when your company is going through a difficult time. It’s easy to dwell on the things that are going wrong, which can result in low morale across the team and the business as a whole. Remember to break larger company goals down into more attainable SMART goals. Whenever you successfully achieve a smaller goal, celebrate the win! Not only does this help reinvigorate the team, but it also adds positivity to their work life and helps boost morale during tough times!
Hard times will come and go in the life cycle of a business, but having a great leadership team in place can help the company overcome the hurdles put in their way and help them continue to achieve great success.
Employee engagement is one of the first things that decreases in an office setting. Improving employee engagement starts at the top and works its way down to the employees. Once the leadership team has bought into increasing engagement, a plan needs to be put into place. The following are a few of the places to start when it comes time to increase employee engagement in your office.
A well-done job should always warrant appreciation. An employee needs to feel like their work matters, and direct leadership and management can easily make that happen. Whether it is a personal note, a shout out during a team meeting, or recognition in the middle of the day, letting an employee know that you are proud of their accomplishments goes a long way. Any employee wants to know that what they are doing is what makes the organization successful!
Give Them a Voice
Employees need to feel like they are being heard and that the opinions they are sharing are valuable to the organization. The second an employee’s idea or suggestion is shot down, or they feel like someone isn’t listening, they’ll stop using their voice for the right things. A disgruntled employee who feels like they don’t have a say is someone who can make a work environment toxic.
Your employees want to know what is going on with the company where they work. No one likes to be kept in the dark, especially in the workplace. When a company fails to share information, it leaves employees feeling unimportant and lets them come to their conclusions about things. Your organization should strive to build as much transparency as possible to build trust with its employees.
An employee that feels like their development is invested in is an employee that is going to want to do their job better and be an active member of their work. As an employer, it’s essential to train employees in both the hard and soft skills of their position. Not only will this help shape their perception of their role, but it will also show them that the company values them and stands behind them.
Engaged employees are often the most productive members of a workforce. When new hires are integrated into a work space, it is important that leaders take the time to communicate with them in an effective way. Doing so will promote employee engagement and productivity, and it will also strengthen relationships between employees and management. Here are a few tips to consider when connecting with new hires.
Reach Out Before Their First Day
It may be easy to think that you can hold off on initiating contact until the new hires enter the office, but waiting that long actually detracts from early opportunities to connect. A member of leadership should consider including new hires on team emails as soon as the employee accepts the job offer; in doing this, new hires will feel actively involved in the company even before they start working. Additionally, leaders can send relevant materials pertaining to the company itself, the work the employees will be doing, or even general industry news. Involving new hires early on will help them feel like they are knowledgeable, informed, and welcomed before they physically join the team.
Set Clear Expectations for Communication
Remember that communication goes both ways, and if you want your employees to feel comfortable speaking with you, it is important that you address the importance of honest, open feedback. Express that you want employees to relay positive feedback as well as constructive criticism, and if they experience any issues with their workload, technical aspects of the job, or superiors, they are to come to you. Additionally, you should express how you want the employee to reach out; whether they should email you or simply knock on your door should be established in clear terms so that the employee does not need to worry about the method in addition to the content of the impending conversation.
A mentorship program is a great thing for your company to have. By assigning each new hire a mentor, you can ensure that your new employees have someone to field questions, provide support, and address minor concerns. Granting your employees a mentor as soon as they start working will be helpful in providing a resource to new hires and making them comfortable in the workplace early on in their employment.
Schedule Regular Meetings
Meeting with new employees shortly after they begin working is great for setting boundaries and getting to know one another, but one meeting is not sufficient. Leaders should aim to set regular meetings on a monthly or quarterly basis to check in with employees. These meetings provide an opportunity for feedback, praise, and open discussion that might not be available at other times, and these check-ins are especially helpful for employees who are more inclined to keep their thoughts to themselves.
In order to add value during the regularly scheduled meetings it is important that a visual aid in describing progress and ways to improve. A KPI (Key Performance Indicators) is a measurable value that demonstrates how effectively an employee is achieving key business objectives. This is helpful in evaluating an employee’s success at reaching their target(s). KPIs should be evaluated over a specified time period and compared against past performance metrics and/or goals.
About David Joseph Simard
David Joseph Simard is currently a private real estate development and construction consultant based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, one of Canada’s most desirable housing and commercial real estate markets. While paving an unconventional path to his successful career in real estate, Simard has found ways to incorporate his varied experience and education throughout each new project. In addition to the success he’s seen with his own consulting business, David Joseph Simard has also found ways to use his expertise to give back to various public and non-profit organizations. Some of these initiatives include an appointment as the founding President of the Canada Nevada Business Counsel and his service to the Board of UNLV’s School of Business.
Before settling down in Vancouver, David Joseph Simard first found his enthusiasm for real estate and new construction development at the University of Windsor, in Windsor Ontario. Here, Simard studied both industrial psychology and history/international relations. This trend in multi-disciplined education would continue for Simard, as his path then took him down to East Lansing, Michigan. At Michigan State University, he would go on to receive two Bachelor of Arts degrees in both industrial psychology and history/international relations. Forever the proud Spartan, Simard moved ahead with his pursuit of acquiring a Juris Doctorate from MSU, recognized as the highest level of education available in the United States’ legal sector.
It was by total happenstance that David Joseph Simard found his first part-time job in real estate while still in school. This wouldn’t be considered the most relevant job for an international relations major. But, Simard found a fast affinity for his work as a real estate broker and later moved on to the next phase of his career, transitioning to real estate development. Simard didn’t realize at the time that he was beginning a career in the industry that would span nearly 30 years. His path eventually led to the international real estate industry and consulting Fortune 500 companies, keeping their multi-million dollar projects on time and under budget.
David Joseph Simard‘s current role finds him continuing his consulting services for global companies, some of which include General Dynamics, Ericsson, and AT&T. Simard’s varied expertise lends his consulting services in legal, financial, and business operations, while providing turnkey real estate project management solutions. Seeing a new construction project begin to take shape is what has kept Simard on this path. The capability to see a project to completion through all areas of a commercial and residential real estate development has enabled Simard to make his mark throughout the industry. When working with Simard, his clients have echoed the same positive experiences of having worked with a unique talent that can guide them through the full life cycle of a project and across all phases.
In addition to his other public service efforts, David Joseph Simard has also served the Boards of the Lied Institute for Real Estate, NDA, and NAIOP. When spending time outside of his professional path, Simard is a wine enthusiast that you may likely find attending a wine tasting at one of Vancouver’s fine vineyards. He also enjoys more strenuous outdoor activities like snowboarding, skiing, and hiking.