Businesses look to their leaders to give them the inspiration and guidance to forge through hard times. No one could have predicted the difficult circumstances of the past few months. Many people are confused, upset, and unsure of what the rest of the year will bring. While you can choose to dwell on mistakes, it is times like these when leaders should step up to the plate.
Your company’s future depends largely on whether you can keep your team moving today, letting your confidence and strength push you forward. Of course, some businesses face different troubles right now, but intentional efforts will launch your organization into exponential success no matter what things look like right now.
To understand exactly how that looks, we asked Cory Summerhays, founder, and CEO of Unforgettable Coatings Inc., to reflect on what leadership means in 2020. The following includes broad principles that can guide your leadership team’s behavior and make its way into the hearts and hands of every employee.
Leadership Tips for Handling Difficulty
Find the Right Amount of Transparency
One of the biggest obstacles you will need to overcome during challenging times is good communication. During disruption, honesty and transparency is more important than ever. It would be foolish to believe you can continue business as usual. You must seek out opportunities to communicate with members of your team as each one will be handling change differently.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Unforgettable Coatings team opened up our financials to employees, offering full transparency. We wanted to dispel fear and unite our team under one common cause. It is important to stay honest and open.
As a business leader, you have a vantage point that others do not and it is likely that sharing more of your vision will dispel fear within your team.
Take Care of Your Team
If employees do not feel safe and as if they have an opportunity to grow and feel fulfilled, there is a chance you’re failing as a leader. Take care of your people. Ask them how they are doing. If someone isn’t productive, there is usually something that is perhaps undiscovered. Seeking this level of communication will help you to anticipate future or current employee needs. If you notice that someone is better-equipped for something else, work to find a solution. Sometimes this means that you move one person from one seat on the bus to another. In unique circumstances, you can even create a new seat.
“I know I am nothing without a strong, healthy and respected employee workforce,” Cory says. “We are engaged at building an organization that improves the lifestyle of our employees and allows them to learn and grow.”
Cory says Unforgettable Coatings pays 100% of health insurance costs for front-line employees in the largest state in which it operates.
“We will continue to learn and make changes to get better as an organization,” Cory says.
It is crucial that you touch base with your team members and check in with them a personal level. Work shouldn’t be the only thing you care about, either. Ask your employees how their families are doing. This engagement surely will create a better working relationship.
Cory further suggests, “Get personal with them. Ensure that you understand their circumstances. Communicating with your employees may even bring forth solutions that you wouldn’t find on your own.”
Do You Have Core Values? Do You Have a Mission Statement?
Unforgettable Coatings focuses on the core values of compassion, gratitude and trust. During challenging times, focusing the team on a common or fundamental cause often provides the fuel to carry on and dials everyone into a common goal.
“Our mission and core values have provided the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel during the pandemic. We’ve used our core values and mission to unite our people, remind us who we are rather than simply what we do,” Cory says. “While the work has been limited, we have been grateful for the work we have, compassionate for those who have less and trusting that as a team, tomorrow will be a brighter day.”
Look for Solutions
Another useful principle to follow during perilous times is being nimble. Staying rigid could have detrimental consequences for your company. Instead, find ways to adapt. Look at the disruption as an opportunity to expand your services to better fit today’s needs.
“While many businesses altered their financial goals, our organization, in order to keep everyone employed, made a pivot to find new cash flow opportunities,” Cory says. “We are finding new clients in need of different services that weren’t our focus in past years. Instead of feeling despair, we look forward to the new. We see 2020 as an opportunity for our team to come together and be resourceful.”
Work with Cory and his team by contacting Unforgettable Coatings today. Together, we can make this year better than expected.