Tips on How to Manage During a Crisis
Author: Tom Tisko | President & CEO
The reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic caused a major disruption to the “normal” the team from BullsEye had been accustomed to. BullsEye had to quickly react and support the migration of all our team members to work from home. We had to keep our team calm and productive because our clients needed our support to help them quickly embrace this work from home reality, while we had other clients that were forced to close their operations, temporarily and some permanently. BullsEye moved rather gracefully into the current WFH state, and below are some of the lessons learned in managing our company during the crisis.
Formalize the cadence and channels for very regular communication and updates. Clearly define what information you need to share directly and what information should be delivered by downline groups in the organization.
Share the good news and the bad news. Employees are more anxious if they do not know what is going on. The certainty of clear, honest information reduces their anxiety, even if the information is not good news. You will create a trust with your team that will calm them and allow them to focus on execution of their immediate responsibilities.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
With employees, clients, vendors, and partners. Do not assume those groups will come to you if they need something. It is incumbent on you to go ask for feedback or what assistance is needed during an uncertain time.
If possible, keep decisions small and agile. Events may reveal you need to alter course, so the time spent on large decisions could be wasted. No matter how good your plan is, it is wrong somewhere. What, where, and how much your plan is wrong will vary. Small, quick decisions will allow for you to adjust quickly.
Avoid Delaying for Perfection
Get out there. Quiet is bad as it provides an opportunity for others to create the narrative. Head-off the speculation by getting your message in front of your audience. If you believe your decision is 80%-90% solid, make it.
Listen to Your Team
Fear is real. Threats may or may not be real, but the fear team members experience is very real. Consider the fears of your employees more than you consider your evaluation of the threat.
Have Clear Accountability
Make sure everyone knows who is responsible for specific tasks and projects. While many people may collaborate on the successful outcome of a task or project, assign a single person accountability for each task or project.
Establish Common-Structure Meetings
When entering a crisis state, trying to translate messaging and methods between groups adds complexity. Implement common structures, methods, and vocabularies to lessen the complexity of interdepartmental and intergroup communication.
Practice for “What-if” Scenarios
Practice/Execute your crisis planning. Just like running fire-drills in elementary school, periodic practice of your crisis plans pays dividends when you need to execute those plans.
It is difficult to anticipate when a crisis will occur, so preparation is a key defense to withstand the impact of these uncertain events.
I wanted to express my appreciation to our employees, clients, partners, and vendors for their contribution and support of BullsEye’s efforts to successfully react to this operating crisis. The planning and preparation are useless if you are unable to execute. I am proud of how our team was able to work through this transition. Success breads confidence and BullsEye will continue to listen and react quickly to market and social shifts.
Our Response to Recent News on Coronavirus (COVID-19)
We understand that keeping the BullsEye community (our employees, clients, agents, and vendors) connected is particularly vital at times like this as we follow updates on the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on each of us.