When the economy is strong and confidence is high, people become inactive and too comfortable. When a crisis occurs, they panic. To prepare for future uncertainties, team leaders need 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 at the grocery stores and were ready to hoard months of supplies one way or another, you were still in a panic about the future.
We learned a lot last year, but one of the most important things was the value of being prepared and ready – even in the face of a crisis. To prepare 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. Well, I know it may sound strange, but this is how you will be organized the next time you run into a crisis in your business. Think of everything you need – from finances to team roles and strategy. (The list goes on.)
If you sit down and think about everything the COVID-19 pandemic brought to your business, what you had to apply for, and what you needed help with, you will be way ahead of the game if another business crisis hits.
Also, the next time you face a crisis, you can turn around and act as a to-do list for any tasks you would rather not have on your plate and a reminder that your business needs to do them.
These are tasks like informing an employee that they are being laid off or cutting hours because you cannot financially support them and your company.
I like to put my lists in Asana. The application is designed for teams to organize, track and manage their work. However, do not underestimate the power of the individual functions.
Try your best to fill your to-do list with positive and negative tasks that you need to do and make sure to order and mix them up so that you have both positive and negative tasks on the same day.
2. Know your team
Knowing your team members at all times is important, but somehow this becomes even more important in a crisis. Knowing their personalities, views, hopes, dreams, and more will help you handle them better even in difficult times.
You can use the DISC personality profiles to tell which agent is reacting to fear and which agent is reacting.
Additionally, an NLP representation system allows you to manage your team with mindset and alignment as focus. These are just two of many programs you can incorporate into your corporate culture to help you emerge stronger on the other side of a crisis.
Knowing your team will only make your business better. If you don’t take the time to do this now and get slapped in the face with a resignation letter you didn’t see in the middle of a crisis, you will regret it.
3. Have a process
As we saw during the pandemic, people jumped on a ship fearing an uncertain future. There were layoffs and there were team members who got sick.
If this happens in the future, you’ll want to know exactly what to do and when. This is where a process document comes in as it ensures that your company is fully operational – even if you are a team member.
A process document describes the exact steps required to complete a task or process from start to finish. It is usually created or written by the team member who performs the process most often.
Start with an overview of the project that includes a summary, purpose, and roles involved. Write down the steps of the process. For each step, make sure you include a summary of the step, resources, and a checklist.
A great way to house all of your process documents is the Kajabi platform. This will allow your team to use the same template over and over and you won’t be able to move on to the next step until the previous task is completed. This helps you stay on top of things and maintain consistency across all of your processes.
This document will also help your agents perform their duties – even if it’s something they don’t deal with on a daily basis. It also ensures that everyone on your team is always on the same page.
4. Don’t get too comfortable
When the economy is strong and confidence is high, people become inactive and too comfortable. This is why we tend to panic and work harder when faced with a crisis.
Tension creates focus and is invaluable to any business owner as it can make you more efficient and organized. Better to prepare and prepare your team before another crisis hits and then you can lean into that tension and use it to your advantage.
Kathleen Black is the Managing Director of Kathleen Black Coaching and Consulting in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. Connect with her on Instagram at @kathleenblackcoaching or through her website ItTakesa.Team.