A crisis—whether personal, local, or national in scope—offers an important opportunity for a small business owner to demonstrate his or her leadership to employees. The keys here are thoughtfulness, timeliness, and communication. Consider these tips when responding to a crisis situation:
- Timing is important. Generally speaking, the sooner you reach out, the better. Ultimately, however, reaching out to affected employees at any point down the road is preferable than doing nothing.
- The form of communication is important. While every person and situation is different, focus on more direct and personal forms of communication—one-on-one conversations, phone calls, and handwritten letters will have more impact than an email or a generic notice posted in the employee lounge.
- Be intentional and empathetic in communicating individually with those you suspect may be most affected in a particular situation, and then initiate a conversation on a groupwide basis.
By approaching difficult situations with sincerity and promoting a culture of empathy and open communication, you will go a long way toward building a work environment poised to attract and retain a talented and loyal team.