How Do Your Employees React to Challenges?

A new measure of success in today’s turbulent business climate might be how well your people deal with adversity. I speak with company leaders who take great pride in how their employees have learned to adapt to certain situations without panic or despair. I speak with others who end up having every problem come to their desk for resolution.

Challenges can come in many forms; too much work, not enough, natural disasters, business interruptions, loss of a key employee, vendor disputes, lost customers and so on. About every new construction project will throw some challenges your way and dealing with certain customers has its challenges.

A strong leader develops strong managers. Strong managers demonstrate every day (whether they know it or not) to their direct reports how to cope with situations. As a result your entire company will form a culture of behavior based upon your style.

I spoke with a member recently who said he would never share any bad news with his employees and the second he does they become instantly paralyzed by fear of losing their job. This behavior causes hours of time spent worrying and scanning the internet for job openings. His belief is that the owner should be the only person to carry the burden of bad news.

In my experience the best way to tell what type of person you have in your staff is to call them in specifically to have them solve a difficult situation facing the company. The good ones relish the opportunity to solve the problem, rise to the challenge, find ways to attack the issue and make the bad situation better. Your best employees will absolutely take on a challenge.

On the other hand many employees will quickly run. They want nothing to do with anything that would jeopardize their job or associate them with failure. It might be your best technician who simply sees that fixing a problem only creates more work for them. These employees find blame in others, never themselves. These are the people you need to identify quickly and hope they move on quickly to your competition.

Run through a list of your employees and think of which ones will help solve the problem, or either cover it up or run from it. My guess is you know exactly who they are. Keep that in mind as you evaluate your team and position it for the future. It’s as important as nearly every project has some sort of challenge to deal with. – CW

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One comment on “How Do Your Employees React to Challenges?

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