Entrepreneurs

Council Post: Eight Ways To Calmly Handle Company Crises

A normal part of running a business is having ideas fail. However, sometimes these circumstances lead to crises within the business. When this happens, employees look to business leaders for guidance on how to respond.

To help your company handle crises in a competent manner, you need to have a level mindset. Professionals from Young Entrepreneur Council offer eight ways you can calmly manage a company crisis.

1. Take A Moment To Sit With Your Thoughts

When a leader first becomes aware of a crisis situation, their mind gets flooded with multiple thoughts. They feel the need to take several actions at once while dealing with their own tumultuous emotions. The very first step a leader must take in such a situation is to find equanimity. Think of doctors who have to cope with unexpected and life-threatening cases. They never rush or make compulsive decisions. They’re encouraged to walk and talk calmly so that they do things rationally. I suggest you take a moment find an empty room, be quiet and take several deep breaths to calm yourself. Being still and present forces you to think clearly. And it’s through clarity that you can take the right actions needed to manage the crisis. – Blair Williams, MemberPress

2. Recruit Leaders To Help Address The Crisis

As a leader, you are to communicate clearly and transparently with one priority: Make the company healthy again. This is possible only if you address the mental and financial safety of your employees. Therefore, during the company crisis mode, offer company updates every week. Catch up with leaders in one-to-one sessions, and explain what the current situation means for their teams and themselves. After this, you can ask these leaders to help you address the crisis to the whole company. Last, but not least, recall the company vision, mission and values. They are core ingredients for maintaining integrity in hard times. – Dmitrij Żatuchin, DO OK

3. Respond In A Calculated Manner Instead Of Reacting

Respond instead of reacting. Many people, particularly in the era of social media and cancel culture, react. Being reactive is the whiny or spoiled child inside of us. Responding is emotional intelligence; it’s the adult that logically knows better and puts on her big girl pants every day. Responding requires the leader to take a moment, gather all the information and then make a plan for moving forward. As the CEO of a PR agency, I can confirm that most companies that fall into PR crises tend to react, which leads to scrutiny, outcry and further unwanted attention. – Beck Bamberger, BAM Communications

4. Encourage Employees To Stick To Their Daily Routines

If a crisis occurs within your company, try to encourage everyone to stick to their daily routine. It’s easier said than done, but this helps keep a sense of normalcy. As a leader in my company, I try to continue our policy of “work hard, play harder.” This helps my employees relax, destress and build connections with each other. Lastly, I am all about transparency within the business. However, if a small crisis arises, I would recommend limiting the number of employees you drag into it, especially if it’s not something within their expertise. The only reason for this is just to prevent placing any unnecessary stress on your employees. – John Hall, Calendar

5. Take Ownership Of Successes And Failures

One thing we can do to remain calm during a crisis is to take ownership of every success and failure of the company. Whatever we do, we must resist the urge to shift blame as this will only worsen the crisis and cause more problems. One practical way of taking ownership is explaining to team leaders the “why” of assignments and not just the “what” and “how.” When leaders at all levels understand and believe in the mission, they will pass that along to their teams so that, when crises do arrive, all members of the company will be unified and ready to face the challenge calmly and competently. – Reuben Yonatan, SaasList

6. Remember Your Company’s Purpose And Vision

Understand your true north. Where are you going with the business? Why are you all here? What’s the purpose? What’s the vision? And then, from there, what are the values? Once those things are all agreed upon and everyone’s on the same page, you can assess the situation and understand your options. Your company values can help you choose between options to find the one that suits you best. Re-center everything to stay calm and handle crises. This can help a lot of situations. Also, remember the world is not going to end. A dose of perspective is always helpful. – Cody Candee, Bounce

7. Quantify The Issue To Put It Into Perspective

I have a funny way of evaluating the seriousness of a crisis. I call it “The Dollar Method.” Anytime something goes seriously wrong, I try to put a value on the issue and how much it will cost to rectify the problem. A one-dollar problem isn’t a problem. A ten-dollar problem also is not a problem. A hundred dollars to fix? In the grand scheme of things not major, but don’t let it happen often. A thousand dollar problem? Now, this is getting serious. Meetings need to be held to identify the root of the issue and ensure that policies are put in place so this issue doesn’t ever recur. Ten thousand dollars? We have reached the level of a major crisis. Being able to quantify the issue allows you to put it into perspective and truly approach the potential crisis from a composed viewpoint. – Ashley Sharp, Dwell with Dignity

8. Create A Plan Of Action With Detailed Steps

One of the most challenging parts of any crisis is the unknown. It’s the uncertainty that makes it so difficult, emotional and stressful. To mitigate this, the best thing a leader can do is be proactive and immediately define priorities. Identify — and then communicate — the three to five most important tasks or steps. Having a plan to address the challenges you face will address financial concerns, preserve operational continuity and help your team feel secure. As the situation changes, you can then adapt and make improvements to your plan. This will not only help your business long-term, but it also wins the respect and support of your team. – Blair Thomas, eMerchantBroker

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