Whenever there is a sudden event or sequence of unexpected events that threatens the integrity or survival of a business it is considered a crisis. Crises generally arise with short notice or no notice at all and can cause major disturbances in the workplace. Leaders and managers play a vital role during a crisis situation. Employees look to these leaders to take control of the situation and steer them in the right direction. One of the hallmarks of a crisis is volatility, so it is essential that managers and leaders know how to be flexible and adapt to the changing situations. Flexibility is key, as strategies and responses need to be amended as new information comes their way. During uncertain times, flexibility is a leader’s most essential skill and here’s why.
It Makes You More Resilient
It’s easy to lead when things are going your way, but this can all change suddenly when a crisis hits. The best leaders know that challenges are inevitable and flexibility is the key to not cracking under the pressure. Rather than panicking when a crisis hits, a flexible manager understands that they simply need to change direction and work to mitigate the problem. Embracing such a change will make leaders more resilient the next time they encounter a crisis situation.
You are More Responsive to Change
We all know someone who is “stuck in their ways” and doesn’t adapt to change well. In a crisis situation, it is imperative that managers be able to adapt in order to solve problems. When a crisis hits, dynamics are shifting quickly and managers need to be able to respond to these changes. Resistance can lead to undue stress and further destruction. Therefore, managers need to embrace such changes and adapt to difficult situations quickly and without hesitation.
It Builds Trust and Confidence with Employees
When a crisis hits, employees might be feeling anxious, scared, and unprepared to handle what is happening. They look to their managers and leaders to guide them through the challenges. If a manager can demonstrate flexibility and adapt to new situations, they can impart this same skill on their employees. This makes the employee feel more confident that the situation is under control and they trust the guidance of their leaders.
Demonstrates Support for Employees
It is important for leaders and managers to model self-care while also supporting and responding to their employees’ needs. Flexibility might mean allowing some extra time-off, spending more time talking and communicating with employees, or encouraging employees to balance work and personal schedules. Managers should be sensitive to the impacts a crisis can have on employees and they should support their team through both work and non-work related challenges.
Flexibility Can Minimize Downtime
A crisis may shut down a business operation temporarily but that doesn’t mean it has to linger on for weeks or months. When managers and leaders are flexible, they look for creative solutions that will minimize downtime and increase productivity. Whether it’s allowing employees to work from home or shifting responsibilities within the team, flexibility is necessary so managers can adapt to changes and respond accordingly.