According to a new Accountemps survey, nearly 49 percent of chief financial officers said they deal with at least one unexpected crisis each and every week.
In comparison, 80 percent of executives mentioned they deal with at least one unexpected crisis a week from a survey conducted in 2004.
We wanted to get the scoop as to how leaders can try to prevent one from happening in the first place. Bill Driscoll, the New England district president of Accountemps, shares his thoughts.
1. Encourage strong communication among your team.Essentially, Driscoll says while several types of crisis situations can’t be prevented, many of them can be thwarted. If a deadline is missed on a project, it can derail an entire schedule. At that point, everyone is in crisis mode to pick up the pieces and get back on track.
He says, “Encourage honest communication among your team. Promote smart, strategic risk-taking and create an environment where employees feel comfortable coming to you to admit errors or share concerns.”
2. Regularly check in on critical projects. This will ensure your team is aligned, on track and “has the necessary resources and information to meet their objectives.”
3. Cushion project schedules. If deadlines are constantly missed, naturally it’ll become a common concern. His advice? “Create project timelines and adhere to them, but build in contingencies for unexpected setbacks.”
4. Break large projects down into smaller goals. While doing this, Driscoll recommends maintaining regular communication with your team to determine if and when a deadline needs to be extended.
5. Put crisis plans in place for potential issues. He suggests conducting regular fire drills so your team knows what to do and who to consult in case there’s an emergency. “This will help your staff stay cool-headed when the pressure’s on, while cutting down on response time.”