Business is like life: There are good times, and there are bad times. Unfortunately, the bad times can have a big impact on your staff -- and that could make it difficult for your company to bounce back, author Bob La Loggia says in an article for Entrepreneur.com.
"Only a lucky few of business owners will never encounter some type of company crisis that takes a major toll on their team. When those crises occur, how should we, as leaders, respond?" asks La Loggia, who recounts a crisis in his own business, software startup AppointmentPlus.
"We had implemented a software update that ... went wrong," La Loggia recounts. "As a result, many of our clients were unable to access parts of the system, and some components of our application didn't work properly. The result? Before we could even fix the issues, some clients began looking elsewhere for a replacement."
To help his employees regain confidence in the company after its failure, La Loggia focused on one activity above all others: listening.
"It was clear that nerves were frayed and our staff felt beaten up. I remember walking around the office and being taken aback by how exhausted everyone looked. The event really took a mental toll on my team," he says. "What got us through our situation and allowed us to move on was the same thing anyone would do for a friend going through a tough time: We let people talk about their thoughts and feelings; we were supportive and helped one other as much as we could."
It worked. "Not only is this the right thing to do from a human relations standpoint, but studies show that truly listening to your staff helps with retention," La Loggia concludes. "Plus, employees who feel that their voices are heard are nearly five times more likely to feel empowered to do their best work."
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