Leading in a Crisis: How to Maintain Morale and Retain Your People

Access this free video now and learn the critical skills you’ll need to keep your organization focused and productive in the face of a crisis. Discover:

  • The single most important leadership strategy in a crisis, which will give you the credibility to lead effectively
  • A key insight into the psychology of your employees that will help you motivate and retain them
  • A managerial roadmap for engaging employees in a time of crisis.

Why are we giving you all of this for free? Because it’s the best way we know to introduce you to a new approach to leadership and management training.

Here’s how it works: Request your video on leading in a crisis now and we’ll email you a user name and password that gives you instant access to the Leadership & Management Rapid Learning Center. There you’ll find your free video on how to lead in a crisis and a collection of other training resources for managers and supervisors. You’ll have FREE trail access to this powerful library of e-learning modules, reports and fast-read articles.

More information for those who love the details …

Crisis leadership: Managing morale and employee turnover

Leading people is always challenging, even when a company is stable and profitable. But leading in a crisis – whether it’s something you instigated yourself like a leadership shake-up, or something out of your control like a market downturn – is exceptionally difficult and requires great skill.

The key issues for a leader in a crisis are retention and morale. Retention is mission critical because during a crisis you must rely heavily on your core staff. Leaders can’t weather a crisis alone. They need committed, enthusiastic, engaged employees performing at the highest level of excellence.

Unfortunately, all the forces at work in a crisis conspire to de-motivate and disengage even the best of workers. People stick around in jobs because they believe that their company’s goals are aligned with their own career plans. The minute your top performers realize your business is in a crisis, they’re thinking, “Whoa! I’ve got options. Maybe this company can no longer take me where I want to go.” Your “engine room” employees – those average and above-average workers who get important stuff done day in and day out – might not be such a flight risk, but uncertainty can cause them to disengage. They’re thinking, “So much for the promotion and the pay raise I was expecting. And now they’re piling more work on my plate.”

It’s easy to see how talent flight and plummeting morale could deepen a crisis.

Become a “managerial first-responder” when leading in a crisis

In a crisis employees need to see confidence, resilience and grace under pressure. But what do you need to project those qualities convincingly?

To answer that question, think for a moment about people who deal with crises every day, people like firefighters and other first responders. We’ve all seen TV interviews where reporters thrust a microphone in their face and ask, “How did you keep such a cool head?” They almost always say something like this: “Well, my training kicked in” or “It was text book. I followed procedure.” That’s their way of saying they didn’t panic and didn’t respond randomly to events. They diagnosed the situation. They decided what needed to be done. They had … a plan.

When you’re leading people in crisis, you’re sort of like a first-responder. Everyone is watching. What they most need to see is that you’ve analyzed the situation and come up with … a plan. Your plan gives you confidence, resilience and grace under pressure. It’s the source of your credibility.

Access this free video now to learn more about why effective planning is key to getting through a crisis.

Five steps to keeping employees engaged in a crisis

So the most important action step in a crisis is to develop a rock-solid plan. But that’s only half the battle. Great leaders understand that in addition to coming up with plan, they need to do two things exceptionally well:

  • Communicate and achieve buy-in for the plan
  • Show team members how their work contributes to achieving plan goals.

Sounds simple on paper, but it’s very difficult unless you understand the single most important insight into what motivates employees, especially your best ones. A study by the Hay Group showed that the number ONE reason people leave is that they don’t believe their company is giving them the opportunity to use their skills and abilities in the pursuit of a meaningful goal.

That deep psychological need to make a difference – to do something meaningful – is the key to gaining buy-in.

That insight is the foundation of a 5-step roadmap to keep your employees engaged during a crisis:

  1. Describe the plan.
  2. Communicate your own buy-in.
  3. Lay out your key objectives.
  4. Ask for their help and establish “line-of-sight” between their skills and your goals.
  5. Review goals regularly.

Leading in a Crisis: How to Maintain Morale and Retain Your People video gives you the details on how to get it done.

To learn more about how to keep your employees optimistic and engaged in the face of disaster, access your free video now as part of a free trial to the Leadership & Management Rapid Learning Center.


Steve Meyer
Stephen Meyer
CEO, Rapid Learning Institute


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