A plan helps people who are feeling uncertain feel anchored and clear about the work they need to do. By bringing them back to priorities and refocusing, they can have an element of control in an uncertain world.
Another benefit is that your people will feel more confident in their leaders and managers when they know a measured approach has been taken and then communicated in a clear and structured way.
Delivering the plan is a great opportunity to explain to your team the importance of maintaining productivity levels and meeting allocated deadlines as completing key tasks will make a difference to the ongoing success of the business.
Recently, a friend used the phrase, “Flying through a storm” and I thought it was a great analogy. If the pilot doesn’t have a plan and communicate it clearly, how would that impact on the crew and passengers? How are they likely to feel and behave? Probably quite scared.
Before starting a plan, particularly at a time of uncertainty, doing aSWOT helps you step back from the detail. That way you’ll pick up any priorities that have been lost along the way and introduce new pertinent information and ideas that are critical at the moment. It will help to ensure the things that will make the most difference are the focus for everyone.
When planning, bring in as many of your team as possible so they can listen and participate, which is a great team exercise in any environment, and even more important when people are feeling unsettled or isolated.
If you’re working from home or many locations, it’s easy to plan using a video conferencing app, like Skype or Zoom, and a digital planning tool. There are affordable digital planning tools you can use so the process is fast, comprehensive and fun for everyone. They have the added advantage of giving you a live document that’s easy for everyone to access and update as you work on the plan, encouraging greater accountability.
Digital planning tools are often a great source of risk management ideas and education at no extra cost to the business. This added bonus is ideal for people who are unfamiliar with planning.
It is critical to create calm. To do this, management will need to focus and remain focused, communicate regularly and listen, monitor progress and give positive, constructive feedback to their people. History has taught us many lessons, providing solid processes and best practice as guidelines. Now is the time to apply them.