Managing your team during a crisis

While most companies in the UAE, especially SMEs, experience a version of this during the summer, the covid-19 crisis has put businesses in a position they may not have effectively planned for. These measures are currently in motion at SOCIATE (the author’s Dubai-based communications agency), and will offer business owners a unique opportunity to connect with their team.

 Communication: When times are uncertain, or during a crisis, keeping your team calm should be a top priority. The human mind has a tendency to catastrophize, and it’s your responsibility to shepherd your team. Job security is a common source of anxiety and panic when a business hits a dry spell, and this may lead to some employees jumping ship or experiencing deep demotivation. Make sure you honestly and transparently communicate the situation, how you plan on managing it, and the actions being taken. This will not only relieve them, but will keep them from jumping to conclusions.

Where routine and flexibility meet: Maintaining a routine will keep your business running as smoothly as it can during a crisis. However, obstinately clinging on to a perceived idea of “normal” can be dangerous for your business. Manage your resources and overheads by getting your team to work remotely, convincing your clients to conduct digital meetings, and limiting your funds to the absolute necessities. This will not only train your team to work flexibly, it will also save you company expenses.

 Check in with your team: This is an opportunity for you to connect with your team like never before. From quashing rumors to sending out internal newsletters with an update on the company’s current status, this will ensure they perceive you as a trustworthy, reliable, and transparent employer. This, in the long term, will enhance their loyalty to your company.

Empower your team to think outside the box: Some levels of your team may not have had managerial training or experience with situations like this. During a crisis, empower all members of your team to get creative. They may stumble upon an innovative idea that hasn’t occurred to you. The Diffusion of Innovation Theory, a theory that revolves around a group of people adopting changes, comes into play here. A crisis is a shared experience, so when a novel change is suggested by a team member and collectively approved, it will make adopting the change an easier process across all your teams.


About the guest author: Rosa Bullock (@rosaadb) is the founder of SOCIATE. She also leads its PR department. SOCIATE is a communications agency in JLT, offering brands of all sizes support with public relations, marketing, events, and design. Rosa launched SOCIATE at the age of 28. She is passionate about startups and female empowerment in the Middle East. Reach out to Rosa at




Women@Work Coach -
24 Mar 2020
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