How to effectively manage a remote team during wartime • TechCrunch
Always Business Owners We say that every company has to go through a real crisis before it becomes a real business. All the big companies that we know have gone through some big crises during their lifetime, and they’re still in the game. There are a lot of studies on crisis management on the Internet, but none of them tell us how to run a business in times of war.
Our company never had a real crisis before February 2022. However, even before that, I always said to my team, “Every company has its time in the sun and a time of crisis.”
When the Russo-Ukrainian war began on February 24, all Ukrainian companies faced a crisis. I’ll use our example to explain how we handled it.
Here are six tips for effectively managing a team during a war.
Create an emergency communication channel
In times of turmoil like this, people will need a lot of up-to-date information about what’s going on. When people don’t know what’s going on, a vacuum arises that can be filled with rumors or distorted news.
To avoid this, you should create a special communication channel that is active around the clock. Slack notifications, for example, can be automatically turned off outside of business hours, so be sure to use a channel your team uses most often so they don’t miss any important notifications.
This may seem like an easy and obvious step, but it is the most effective way to help your team when they feel lost or confused, which is only natural when there is a war raging around them.
Communicate with your team twice as often
Training in managing stress, anxiety, and personal finances will help your employees build the necessary knowledge and respond to challenging situations.
Great leaders communicate with their people, and we should all remember that “too much communication is good communication.”
For us, that saying has never been more true. Communicate frequently whenever there are updates about the problem but no less than twice a day. In addition, follow the usual rules of team communication: be honest, sympathetic and humane.
Finally, when there is a serious crisis, most people’s faculties of critical thinking can be hampered. In such situations, you may have to explain things to your team more than usual. Don’t shirk this responsibility. If your team needs to hold its hand, be sure to hold it. It will pay off in the long run and help you stay in control from the early days of the crisis until things calm down.
Stop investing in research and development and get people back to work ASAP
As a leader, you must save your work, because it is something people rely on in times of uncertainty. The first thing to do here is to save as much cash as possible in order to stay in business for as long as possible. This often means cutting back on unnecessary spending. This can be a difficult decision, but it is a sacrifice that you may have to make.
With our team in safe locations, the best way forward was to get them back to work and help them calm down. It sounds strange, but this is the best way to channel the anxiety and nervous energy of war. In work, where everything is known, described and direct, people find calm and a constant sense of purpose.
In my experience, the first wave of the crisis is the hardest because of the high levels of uncertainty. However, once you pass this stage, there will be fewer variables i.e. when you return to investing activities if it is still possible.
Use your standard telecommuting policy
When the war broke out, it was very difficult to manage the team and re-establish our business operations. So we waited to do this after our team was evacuated and moved safely.
Our proven remote policies were a life saver when our employees were not in their usual environments. Nobody underestimates the value of team spirit, so invest in it more because people will need to support each other much more during times of great conflict. Among the online team building activities, augmented reality activities have proven to be a great mood enhancer.
Conduct special training to support your team
Crises, fortunately, are rare, but this also means that people often do not have enough knowledge to deal with the extraordinary amounts of information they are exposed to in such situations.
In such cases, you must:
- Educate people by conducting special training with the help of experts. Training in managing stress, anxiety, and personal finances will help your employees build the necessary knowledge and respond to challenging situations. The Ukrainian Center for Strategic Communications has prepared a guide entitled “Psychological support during the war,” Explain how to spot mental health problems and help solve them.
- Invite successful and respected people to share positive thoughts about the situation and perhaps explain how they faced particularly difficult times. The authority bias is real and acts as a morale booster when the team needs direction and a sense that things are going to be okay.
- Share relevant positive news to encourage your team and create a vision for a better future.
Linking business goals to social initiatives
When war broke out, people wanted to help. This was fine, but we realized that it could affect focus on work and could eventually lead to a more profound crisis. At times like these, put the Step 1 Overseeing Tool to work and educate people about how your company’s success benefits society.
As a result of what your team accomplishes at work, your company can invest more resources in charitable initiatives when growth or profitability is maintained or improved. As a result, your team can do more and have more resources to do something important to the community.
This should not have any impact on your current OKR system because your company goals will remain the same. However, the merits of the team have changed – instead of a nice barbecue, you will now invest the money saved in something useful for the wider community. Statistics show that when a company leads on purpose, 76% of respondents likely trust this company.
Volunteering has become an essential component of our team operations. for ModelWe arranged contributions, searched for equipment, supplied soldiers, and helped secure supplies for people in disaster areas.
Every company will face a crisis caused by a unique set of factors. However, the tips I’ve given here are applicable to almost any problematic situation. Don’t forget to maintain a strong leadership position and remain sympathetic to your team.