When times are challenging, subsequent reorganisation often create changed teams of new people and additional responsibilities. In Oil & Gas for example, trading conditions have deteriorated further and the inevitable reorganisation means new teams and leaders need to perform better now than ever.
A leader in a ‘streamlined’ reorganisation might see his best performers go – because they are too expensive to keep or just because they’re good enough not to hang around and wait and see if they’ll be kept. Furthermore, it’s not unusual for those that remain to be in something less than a positive frame of mind.
This is a less than conducive climate for the much needed efficiency and productivity that’s now required.
Here are some thoughts on useful strategies to get the best out of people, in less than the best of times.
Keep up with the one-to-one’s : This time invested at the end of a week, end of a shift or end of an offshore rota is valuable time where you get the opportunity for real feedback and some straight talking. Encourage more of their strengths and help support the improvements areas. They might have a skill that you need in these changing times, so get to know what they can offer.
Tell them what you know, not what you don’t : In times of difficulty, don’t deal in rumours. Be straightforward with people. Your line of sight goes further than theirs – give them your picture. But, don’t tell them what you don’t know! Trade in rumours and you will be associated with half-truths and whispers. Be trusted.
Offer Focus : Minds will be on a lot of things, so keep them with you, focussed on the task at hand. Tell them what’s to be achieved – whether it’s the uptime of an asset, schedule attainment or the volume of work executed. Give them a target and keep them informed about how they are doing in getting there. And use those one-to-one’s to remind them of their own personal contribution and your willingness to support.
Delegate Well : Many teams now have less people expected to do the same amount of work – or sometimes more. And often with less experienced people. Know the skill-set of your team and delegate accordingly – providing support and regular check-ins with the less experienced. Delegate, don’t abdicate. Support them. But don’t just tell them what to do. Ask before you tell. Follow the delegation process and ask how they would do it. Recognise gaps and help fill them.
Lead from the front : The current situation will have given everyone a knock – the leader included. Whatever your style of leadership before, times such as this needs you out front, visible and communicative. They are watching you and your reaction. Whatever you are asking them, walk the talk.
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