HOW TO

Empower effective leaders in times of crisis

Inspire Certification Series

Table of Contents

In challenging times, people are stressed and relationships often become frayed. Communication breaks down, collaboration deteriorates, and productivity may be badly impacted. Anticipate and act on these changes before they become the new norm for your organization by following the Inspire aptitude of talent optimization. 

Below, you’ll learn how to coach your managers to lead and promote continued collaboration among hard-hit teams.

Empower employees to be resilient

Resilience is what will hold your business strategy together, even when times are tough. But resilience also applies to the people of your organization. When the chips are down, every action or decision your people make comes under scrutiny. Everyone’s time becomes more valuable—because you now have fewer people than you expected. And this will test your people’s mettle. 

How, then, do you improve employee productivity in times of stress and make every work hour count? You do so by developing and empowering your employees, beginning with your managers.

What is resilience?

Resilience is the ability to manage through adversity and optimize. React to situations and then manage them rather than letting situations manage you.​

Maintain career pathing

Traditionally, career pathing is an opportunity to identify and create new roles as your organization grows. It’s also a way to incentivize employees and reward high performance. The dynamics change significantly in a crisis scenario. You may have a hiring freeze in place. Without the ability to bring on new employees, you don’t have the same ability to promote vertically and fill in as needed. But that doesn’t mean you can’t create opportunities for individuals to grow.

Try it out! See if you can determine additional responsibilities for an employee based on the behavioral needs in the activity below.

A change to your business strategy can eliminate existing functions and create new ones. These roles give employees an opportunity to prove themselves and develop in a new part of the business. Just because hiring has stopped doesn’t mean the organization won’t need new leaders in new places. If you create opportunities for those high-potential workers to work in a role that speaks to their personality and behavioral traits, you increase the odds they’ll give you higher-quality output.

Develop self-aware leaders

Leadership opportunities can be equally valuable. For one, they provide another means of engaging employees. But they also upskill your people at a time your organization needs it most. When developing leaders, it’s important to teach the value of self-awareness. Using behavioral data, you can objectively walk employees through their unique behavioral strengths and blind spots. You can then compare their behavioral makeup to others within the organization. A 360 review can also work in a pinch if you have employees nearing their review.

 You can even use a leadership rubric to assess an employee’s current leadership capacity. FABRIC is the leadership rubric that PI uses to inspire their organization.

Having self-awareness is critical to leading effectively. When you manage someone who’s similarly wired, the process is intuitive. You likely have the same communication style, and your direct report may enjoy your natural leadership style. But when you’re wired differently, friction can arise. Left unchecked, this can lead to disengagement. The 2020 State of Talent Optimization report also shows that companies using tools to build employee self-awareness are more likely to be high-performers.

To facilitate honest, regular feedback between parties, encourage managers to hold a 1-on-1 meeting at least twice a month with each direct report. Given the current remote landscape, you might advocate for weekly meetings—or even more frequent ones than that.

Using the PI Management Strategy Guide​

In times of uncertainty, it’s more important than ever for leaders to anticipate friction and work to avoid it. Tools like the PI Management Strategy Guide give you the ability to teach managers how to tailor their communication, feedback, and leadership style to meet different individual needs.

Inspire high-performing teams

During times of rightsizing and reorganization, consolidation of teams is inevitable. Even when the changes are seemingly small, each team alteration can change dynamics based on new co-worker relationships. And, if you’re not careful, the performance of these groups can falter. At a time when resources are so valuable, every team must be optimized to reach its full potential. Using team dynamic tools like PI Team Work Styles, you can aggregate behavioral data across entire teams or departments. This lets you visualize which behaviors team members share—and which ones they don’t. That way, you can adjust your teams to maximize their intended function.

Try it out! The activity to the left will demonstrate the impact reviewing work styles can have.


Interested in learning more about how to uncover your team’s strength and coaching areas? We want to help you lead a high performing team with a free, 30-minute teamwork strategy session.

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