Leadership and Employee Engagement during a Global Crisis - You Can Still Flourish

Posted by Deltek Partner Guest Blog on May 4, 2020

Working relationship

It’s easy to get wrapped up in negativity. Let’s face it, we’ve all let it get the best of us a time or two. As leaders, how we interact with our teams during a time of crisis can have a huge impact on employee engagement. Our teams look to us to feel connected, positive and good about their careers and providing all of those things will define whether our organizations sink or swim at any time, let alone during times of turmoil. As we seek to partner with the companies in the industries we serve, we are reminded that we are all human and navigating a very difficult historical event. We want to share encouragement because we are all in this together and there are things we can do and behaviors we can adopt that will help us support our teams.

In a recent article written by Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton, we are reminded of how one company handled the global crisis of 2008/2009. Leadership used the crisis as an opportunity to spread hope and positivity by leading with gratitude and expressing frequent, sincere appreciation for employees. By keeping morale high and focusing on the right behaviors, in 2010 this company reported its best financial year in its 57 year history. Just by leading with gratitude and giving frequent feedback they were able to inspire and build momentum for the future even during an exceptionally difficult period!

Giving frequent feedback has a number of benefits:

  • Increased Motivation
  • Enhanced Performance
  • Elevated Engagement

Think about that for a moment. By giving frequent, meaningful feedback we are providing exactly what our teams are looking for from us! They want to feel connected, positive and good about their careers. This is something every single one of us has some control over unlike many of the other things that are affecting our lives, both personally and professionally. It doesn’t matter whether you hold a position of senior leadership, project management, or are an individual contributor or project team member. We all have a responsibility to look out for one another by showing empathy and compassion.

At Deltek, we have been focused on reminding one another that we are in this together no matter what our roles are, how we are impacted, or where we are located in the world. We have found more opportunities to connect socially since our whole company adapted to remote working. We’ve turned on the video in our calls and practiced what we preach about staying connected and leveraging technology to help us do our jobs better. The result? I think most would agree that we have all become closer somehow, more focused, more dedicated, and even more engaged.

As leaders during a time of crises we must celebrate the small stuff, be optimistic, and share as much as we are able to with our employees. We must engage with them, touch base frequently, and exhibit integrity. This is the time for good leadership to shine and help their organizations come out of this swimming even stronger and faster than they were before. You have a choice. Are you going to let your organizations sink or swim?