Supporting teams when uncertainty Is High

Managing during times of uncertainty

It is important for managers to develop strategies to help their direct reports feel reassured and empowered, even when their work environment is uncertain and they feel control is limited.

An Arcus survey of 240 Canadian managers titled “Managing during times of uncertainty” indicates that one of the most disconcerting events is an impending organizational redesign. The team is likely to feel anxious as there will be a lot of concerns about the future.

Managers must take steps to give everyone some kind of assurance but also state that it is difficult to know what’s going to happen in six months either.

As a manager if you’ve found yourself in a similar situation recently, its not unique. Most leaders have some version of this concern. The Arcus survey found that 92% of HR leaders stated that their teams had voiced concerns about job security, training, leadership changes, or reorgs.

During times of uncertainty is high, managers should aim to eliminate signals that may be sources of stress and uncertainty for workers. The most important message is to be clear that managers care for their teams. The Arcus survey indicates that what managers of top-performing teams consistently do differently is they make a concerted effort to ensure their reports feel valued and comfortable.

Offering reassurance

What are the best ways of offering assurance major decisions such as broader economic conditions are outside of a manager’s control? Here are a few ways managers can support their teams during turbulent times and yet avoid making promises that are unlikely to be kept.

Learning opportunities

Help each employee work toward their dream job. While it isn’t possible to assure employees about promotions and job stability, managers can assure employees about learning opportunities that can strengthen their capacity to be more productive.

More responsibilities

Employees can be assigned more challenging tasks that help them with stretch goals and accomplishments that shows them a pathway to a new role in three to five years.

Pathways to growth

Develop a list of stretch goals and responsibilities and share them with employees so that they have a learning plan combined with a list of new responsibilities. Identify areas for improvement and gaps in skills or compelling experience. Then managers should make commit to helping them grow in these areas by offering them relevant tasks or projects.

Service coverage

The variety, breadth, and depth of the projects where Arcus can be a resource are made unique by each client’s specific needs. By providing a very small sample of projects we’ve completed, we can help you understand how and when to use our services. Visit the links below to find out more about a specific problem or opportunity you would like to address.

Below is a sample of the range of services that Arcus has provided to clients.

  • A survey of 2,350 consumers and 1,320 business leaders for feedback on sustainability trends
  • Architecting a multi-year change strategy for a Fortune 500 company
  • Mentoring a CEO on organizational change
  • Excellence transformation of a leading B2B services company
  • Creating a new sales deployment model for a healthcare company
  • Developing a position evaluation and compensation model for a professional medical association   
  • Improving services to customer segments by deepening their understanding of customer attitudes

“Arcus manages to consistently deliver tangible results on market research and strategy projects. They combine deep business expertise, powerful research capabilities, and innovative thinking to deliver substantial value.”

– Vice President, Nikon

Media Coverage

Arcus has been quoted extensively in media on a range of topics and can offer research studies, insights and ideas. Here are some examples from the Globe and Mail, CTV, Global TV and others.