Over the past several weeks, we have been discussing the impact of blunders and mistakes businesses make during difficult times. Each article has examined a specific set of circumstances and made recommendations about how to avoid them. In this article, we address Mistake #7 (M7): Energy Management – how individual and team energy levels are impacted during difficult times and how lack of awareness can prevent your team from being able to participate in the recovery.
Behind every strategic choice are cultural decisions made by people whose behavior is driven by knowledge, emotions, and experience. It is important to recognize that people are a collection of emotions. Some get defensive when they feel criticized; others become controlling when they feel overwhelmed. Others “shut down” and become quiet when there is conflict in a meeting or among team members. The sum of these reactions affects individual and organizational success.
Introduce the emotions of fear, anxiety, and uncertainty that accompany any recession with the daily stresses of life, and you’ve got yourself all the makings for a dysfunctional organization.
Business owners, attempting to navigate the unchartered territory of a downturn, are simultaneously facing all six Mistakes that we have previously identified while balancing the emotional state of their team. It should come as no surprise teams become mis-aligned, demotivated, and de-energized.
Teamwork and collaboration are the foundation of all successful organizations. This is particularly important during a downturn because recessions drive siloed behavior. The shelter-in-place requirements currently in force further amplifies feelings of isolation. Once people become siloed and isolated, they become detached. Teamwork disappears as connection to the organization and its vision become clouded. Isolation and detachment de-energize and demotivate your people. Most information reported in the media is about the past, and the people that have lived through it. Unfortunately, this news often further demoralizes and generated further fear about the immediate future.
Furthermore, teams lack normal re-energizing human interaction today because of the pandemic. Invariably, energy levels drop. Add the forced human separation in favor of videoconferencing, and the result can be a sedated physical state. Instead of the usual “coffee break” which allows individuals to re-charge, back-to-back video calls can have the opposite effect – they are exhausting.
Whether the next business cycle recovery phase is U-shaped or L-shaped, one thing is certain, people are going to be “exhausted” for a long time. When businesses are allowed to return to their places of business, many will be at a full sprint – trying to catch up for lost time and counter-balancing the negative effects on the economy and their business from shelter-in-place. It takes time to recover and for many, it will feel like they are sprinting a marathon, leading to burnout and ineffectiveness.
To be successful your team needs to “feel good” or “energized.” Energy and emotions influence market dynamics and the way your organization operates. Economic crises are comprised of more than profit and loss, dollars and cents, facts and figures.
Many businesses will re-emerge but mis-aligned or lacking a long-term growth strategy. They will waste time trying to re-align the team within their business while the market is already growing. They will have failed to catch the first wave (This was addressed in Mistake #2: Timing – Missing the Boat).
Our message here is “be aware of the effects of isolation, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty that accompany any recession and the burn-out and frustration as the recovery commences and pushes through into the next boom.” Reconnect your team to your vision and infuse energy into the organization to carry you into the next recovery cycle. Look to the future. Enjoy the journey.
Want help unlocking performance and understanding your most productive and effective assets to re-energizing your team to improve your overall sustainability and performance? Take advantage of our complementary energy assessment by contacting Adrian here.
Our goal in this Revise phase has been to provide thought-provoking articles to help you avoid the potential pitfalls that businesses succumb to during a crisis. Addressing how to begin re-positioning your company to take advantage of upcoming opportunities, at the right time, to leap ahead of your competition during the next boom.
If you missed any of our previous mistakes: you can read about them here: Industry Cycle (M1), Timing (M2), Risk (M3), Profitability (M4), Business Model (M5), and Boom Packaging (M6).
About Destined. Destined’s mission is to empower business owners to achieve their destiny. During this global crisis we are providing tools to help businesses SURVIVE these unprecedented times while also preparing to THRIVE once the crisis begins to recede. Look for our next article: Phase II – Part B: 3 Step Process to Assess, Design and Evaluate your growth strategies.