When the economy is strong and confidence is high, people become idle and get too comfortable. When a crisis hits, they leap into panic mode. That’s why, to prepare for any future uncertainty, team leaders have to take these important steps now.

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In the early stages of the pandemic, we all panicked. Even if you weren’t out there in the grocery store lines, ready to hoard months’ worth of supplies, in one way or another, you were still panicking about the future. 

Last year taught us many things, but one of the most important things was the value of being prepared and ready — even in the face of a crisis. To prepare ourselves for future business crises, we need to sit down and examine the key areas in our business that we can focus on now and benefit from later.

1. Have a plan

Make a checklist for a business crisis. Now, I know it might sound weird, but this is how you will be organized next time you face a crisis in your business. Think about all the things you’ll need — from finances to team roles to strategy. (The list goes on.)

If you sit down and think about everything the COVID-19 pandemic has put your business through, what you had to apply for and what you needed help with, this will put you way ahead of the game if another business crisis hits. 

It will also allow you to pivot the next time you’re dealing with a crisis, acting as a to-do list for all the tasks you would much rather not have on your plate and a reminder that you need to do them for your business.

These are tasks like, letting an employee know they’re being let go or being put on reduced hours because you can’t financially support them and your business.

I like to house my lists in Asana. The application is designed for teams to organize, track and manage their work — but don’t underestimate the power of its individual capabilities. 

Try your best to fill your to-do list with both positive and negative tasks that you need to complete, and make sure to order and mix them, so you can have both positives and negatives in the same day.

2. Know your team

It’s important to know your team members at all times, but in a crisis, this somehow becomes even more important. Knowing their personalities, views, hopes, dreams and more helps you get a better handle on how to manage them, even in difficult times. 

You will be able to tell which agent will be responsive in fear and which agent will be reactive based on their DISC personality profiles.

What’s more, an NLP representational system will allow you to manage your team with mindset and alignment as your focus. These are only two programs of many that you can work into your business culture to help you come out stronger on the other side of a crisis.

Knowing your team will only better your business. If you choose not to take the time to do that now, and you’re smacked in the face with a resignation letter you didn’t see coming in the middle of a crisis, you will regret it.

3. Have a process

As we saw during the pandemic, people were jumping ship in fear of an uncertain future. There were layoffs, and there were team members who got sick.

If this happens in the future, you will want to know exactly what to do and when. This is where a process document comes into play, as it ensures your business can fully function — even when you’re down a team member. 

A process document outlines the exact steps that are necessary in completing a task or process from start to finish. It’s usually created or written by the team member who practices the process most often.

Start with an overview of the project, which includes a summary, purpose and roles involved. Write down the steps of the process. For each step, make sure to include a summary of the step, resources and a checklist. 

A great way to house all of your process documents is through the platform Kajabi. It will allow your team to reuse the same template over and over again, and won’t allow you to continue to the next step until the previous task has been completed. This will help you stay on top of and maintain consistency throughout all of your processes.

This document will also help your agents in performing their duties — even if it’s something they don’t deal with daily. It will also ensure everyone on your team is on the same page all the time. 

4. Don’t get too comfortable

When the economy is strong and confidence is high, people become idle and get too comfortable. That’s why we tend to panic and work harder when we’re facing a crisis.

Tension creates focus, and it’s invaluable to any business owner because it allows you to become more efficient and more organized. It’s better to get your team prepared and ready before another crisis hits, and then you can lean into that tension and use it to your advantage.

Kathleen Black is the CEO of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at @kathleenblackcoaching or through her website ItTakesa.Team.

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