How You Can Manage Your Team During A Crisis

by Srikant Chellappa Apr 1,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Mergers, layoffs or natural calamities, whatever the crisis maybe, everyone’s initial reaction is the same. You feel like your being pulled under or you’re swimming in an ocean with no sign of land anywhere. With COVID-19 ravaging across the globe, this is how most employees are feeling.

As a manager, your responsibilities are two-fold here. You need to balance yourself as well as keep your team motivated. It could obviously be easier if you were meeting your team at office every day, but that not how the world functions these days. With most employees working remotely, it’s not easy to collaborate, keep a track of employee performance as well as keep up employee engagement.

While there is no proper path chalked out as to how you can handle things better, here are some tips that can guide you to handle a crisis better:

Be Transparent:

A lot has been discussed about this point but its absolutely necessary that you understand how important it is to be honest with your employees. With a crisis like this where employees are working remotely, it feels easy to withdraw or not communicate much. But when you do that, they’ll do anything to fill the silence you are creating. So rumours will start cropping up and they’ll discuss untrue events and circumstances. This will inevitably turn the positive environment into negative and will start affecting employee performance and productivity.

Its understandable that you can’t share every detail of the company with your employees, but if you keep providing timely information, it will put their anxieties and speculation to rest. Allow your employees to express their fears or doubts, and if you don’t know what to say immediately, let them know that you will get back to them soon.

Be it an email update or a zoom meeting, keep communicating with them with as much information as you can possibly share.

Also read: Are You Suddenly Running A Remote Office?

Know where to draw the line:

Given that you need to maintain transparency with your employees, there are certain insider information about the company that you cannot share with everyone. So know where to draw the line and share only what might concern the employees and put their worries to rest.

If you are not sure what to share and what not to share, have word with your superior. It will help you filter out what’s essential that needs to be communicated and what’s confidential. When you get questions that you are not sure what to answer, be honest and tell them that you don’t know the answer at the moment, but you’ll let them know when the company decides to share the information.

Maintain consistency

It’s not easy to plough through a crisis while maintaining consistency at work, but it’s not impossible. Being a manager, you need to take it upon yourself to remain steady through the tough time and set the right example for your team members. Maintaining an unswerving attitude and appearance can go a long way in safeguarding not only the sanity of your employees but will also provide great strength and support towards the company.

Have an online discussion or call everyday with your employees. Your virtual presence and constant interest will keep them reassured and motivated. You can even arrange for your team to have periodical virtual gatherings wherein they bond with their colleagues. It will enhance the trust factor in your team.

Maintain a set routine:

At a time like this, managing a team can be quite cumbersome. You’ll have new and more responsibilities on your shoulders, new deadlines, catering to customers, coordinating with third party agencies… could be anything. Things could be stressful, to say the least.

So, your aim during this time is not to just stay afloat but to stay productive and keep your team constructive as well. The best way to achieve this perfect level of equilibrium is to maintain a good routine and encourage your employees to do that too. If they are finding it hard to do so, reach out to them and tell them that they can approach you for help. Plan the tasks well in advance, divide them among your employees, give them feasible deadlines. Don’t make things too stressful, but don’t be too lax either. Draw a balance and it will work wonders for you and your organisation.

Also read: For The Leadership: Redefining How The World Works Today

It might take a while for the world to tackle COVID-19, but if you follow these tips judiciously, you can set an example and be that confident leader everyone looks up to. Because in the end, those who makes it through are always the winners.


Engagedly is offering a suite of products part of its Remote Work Toolkit free to any organisation, until Sept 30th, 2020. 

The Coronavirus has affected the way we work today and for months to come. Unprecedented events require unprecedented measures. We at Engagedly believe it is our responsibility as socially conscious corporate citizens to help equip organisations with additional tools and resources during this time of crisis.

Get in touch with us to know more about the free remote working tool-kit. 

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Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2024.

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