We are in one of the most difficult times our country has ever experienced. This crazy pandemic has killed thousands of people, put companies out of business, and created unemployment virtual lines like we have never seen before. In addition, our healthcare workers are put at risk daily treating those that are ill.

In light of all of these challenges, we still have a responsibility to treat our teams with dignity and respect.

Companies small and large are being hit hard in the wallet. Business in many industries has slowed, while for others it has come to a screeching stop. Few organizations across the globe today are growing and providing jobs. The exceptions may be food, healthcare and personal health organizations. Even in light of all of this tragedy and pain,we still have an obligation to our teams and their families as business and HR leaders.

As the CEO of a small business myself, I know the pain related to cancelled or delayed work. The pressure of meeting payroll, paying benefits, and laying team members off is real. Decisions to let people go or to cut their salaries during this pandemic sucks!

How we act matters as much as why we act.

Here is the truth: HOW we do these difficult things shows who we are as leaders and as future employers. If we choose not to prepare our team members. If we choose not to share the options we are contemplating with our staff. If we choose not to listen to ideas from those that are the heartbeat of our organizations. If we choose as leaders to put our heads in the sand and repeat the mantra of: “I didn’t have a choice.” We are choosing a path that will lead to short and long term failure.

Every decision we make is a choice. We cut three new employees to save the remaining team. We cut our leadership team salaries to keep people paid. We reduced the hours for some of our team. We reduced our prices to support our clients. Each of these decisions was a choice I made to deal with the circumstances at hand.

We follow leaders that have clarity in where they are going and are willing to make the hard decisions when necessary. How are you communicating the decisions you are making during these challenging times? Are you laying out a plan? Are you hiding behind the circumstances?

Memories Linger

In a few months when the pandemic subsides and business restarts, will your team have loyalty?  Every organization will be faced with this challenge. The answer will be in how we treated each of our team members when things got rough.

The decisions we make as leaders will show our teams who were really are. Crisis is often the great exaggerator! How we make decisions as business leaders or HR leaders doesn’t make us, it shows who we really are. Our teams will remember that when deciding who to work for after this passes.

Here is the real question: what does the way you treated your team say about who YOU really are?

Check our more on this topic through a series of on-demand webinars entitled Leadership in times of Crisis. Click HERE.

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