What does good employee management look like in a time of crisis?

How to manage employees coronavirus crisis (2)

How you manage your employees now, in the Coronavirus crisis, will leave a mark on your business long term. It will affect your employer branding, employee engagement and your reputation in the rather small additive manufacturing industry. So, what does good employee management look like in a crisis? Here are some tips and advice.

1. Create trust by transparency

Trust in leadership additive manufacturing

Trust is an important factor in any good employee management. According to Deloitte, trust starts with transparency.

It is an uncertain time for everyone, and whilst there may be some details that you cannot share with your employees, it is highly advised that you keep your employees in the loop as much as possible. Brief them on your organisation’s Coronavirus response and how the business is going, to the extent it is possible.

Relationship is about ‘knowing’ your employees, so make sure to engage in their situations. Lastly, experience is about whether you reliably do what you say. In uncertain times, trust is increasingly reliant on your demonstrated ability to act on and address unprecedented situations.

2. Answer your employee’s questions

Stakeholder management is a natural part of any crisis management. But the employees are often overlooked. According to Deloitte, nearly 30% of crisis professionals believe that employees are the most overlooked stakeholders when their organization is dealing with a crisis.

Though there may be questions you cannot answer, it is important to show that you try. As an example, you could create a publicly available Q&A section on your website or host virtual ‘office hour’ where employees can dial in and ask questions.

3. Understand that your employees deal differently

Some people thrive in a flexible environment and being able to work from home, and some people struggle to not have a fixed schedule, a fixed place to be, and to not be surrounded by colleagues. It is a weird time, so help your employees understand that it is normal if they are not at their maximum productivity level right now.

Have open chats with your employees to try and find out how they are dealing and what issues that may cause a low productivity or demotivation and try to help them.

Empathy in leadership additive manufacturing

4. Layoff with compassion

Sometimes firing is a necessary evil. For many companies, both in- and outside of the additive manufacturing industry, this is the case now due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the economic crisis that follows. While there is no right way to fire someone, it is important to do it with compassion. Here are some simple principles to make the uncomfortable situation more graceful and humane

1. Have the conversation in person (or in a virtual meeting)

Take your time to have the conversation with the affected employee in person or in a virtual call. Do not simply leave them with a redundancy email. You want to split with your employee on as good terms as possible. This is especially true if you are letting your employee go as a direct consequence of the economic crisis – because it may turn out, that you will be able to hire back that person as we come out of the crisis.

2. Keep it short and to the point

3. Be helpful

Empathize with your employee and offer them all the help you can give them – offer to write a reference letter and offer offboarding using an outplacement service. We can help you with outplacement services, read more here.

5. being a good virtual manager

Leading a virtual team comes with many challenges. Here are a few simple tips on how to be a good virtual manager:

Communicate regularly

– both on a one-to-one basis and as a collective team, and encourage your team to communicate with each other

Create routines

Schedule regular meetings and agendas and keep the line of communication open

Use video

Now that we are not physically meeting each other, it is important to use video as a tool of communication. Being able to actually see people gives you insight into how the other person is feeling, making it easier to manage them

Talk about something other than work

Make sure your meetings are not all about work – after all, the watercooler moments now have to happen online

The additive manufacturing industry is still rather small, and the pool of talent is scarce, making it ever more important that your organization maintains and manages your employer branding by, first and foremost, treating your employees right. How you behave now may affect your ability to retain your best talent, and recruit great talent, when prospects start to improve.

Let us help and guide you

At Alexander Daniels Global, we are specialized in recruitment for the additive manufacturing industry. If you have any questions or if there is anything you would like to discuss, please do not hesitate to reach out to us – we are happy to help!

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