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Startup Hacks

Handle Crisis At Work Like A Pro

Ramya GovindRaj



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Crisis situations are unavoidable and have the potential to create irreparable damage to the reputation of the corporation. A crisis can affect the employees, the shareholders and the consumers as well. The panic and uncertainty associated with a crisis can cause more damage and chaos than the actual crisis itself. Here is how you can handle a crisis like a pro, instead of running around like a headless chicken!

1.  360 assessment
Before coming up with any solution for a crisis, it is important to do an all round assessment of the situation. Understand the situation, the players and the landscape in which you are operating to develop an effective strategy. Take a step back to assess which areas of work have been affected, consider what you know and gather information on the rest. A complete 360 degree assessment will let you be prepared for the worst case scenario and not be blind sided by any new problems.

2. Keep Calm and Carry On
While navigating through difficult situations even two simple words can make matters worse. Panic will only add to the chaos and chaos is not the solution. So, instead of adding fuel to the fire, keep calm, breathe and try to stay above the water. This will allow you to take in more information, assess it faster and create an appropriate response. Put the problem in a broader context and trace it back to the roots. Generally, problems arise out of small missteps or miscommunication. Find the root of the problem and unravel the issue from there.

3. Engage and Communicate
Once you have a handle on the problem itself, engage the other employees and all key stakeholders. Engaging the employees and everyone involved will make the decision making process and the internal communication far more effective. Engage in open and transparent communication with all levels of the employees but understand how best to tell them what they need to know and when they need to know it. While two heads are definitely better than one, too many cooks will also spoil the broth.

4. React
Many times, during a crisis, the first instinct can be to ignore the problem on the whole and do nothing. Not reacting will only escalate the issue at hand, making a mountain out of what is possibly a molehill. Be proactive in your approach to any issue. Contain the problem and eradicate it quickly with a fast but well thought out response. Objective assessment and planning leads to a calm mindset and self confidence and then it’s all about the execution. But it is important to acknowledge the problem from the beginning itself and not turn a blind eye.

5. Ethical Business Practice
When the company is facing a crisis situation, ethics might be the last thing on your mind. Amid the pressure to put the issue to rest, ethics tend to take a back seat. It is during such times that remaining true to ethical business practices is of utmost importance. Short cuts and the easy way out have a tendency to come back and can harm the company later. Although this is easier said than done, make sure that all the team members are comfortable with the decisions being made and with the level of rigor with which you are conducting the investigation. Be true to your morals, ethical responsibilities, employees, consumers, stakeholders and yourself. 

Crisis situations are like mountains during the monsoon season. Small missteps can lead to a landslide. Never underestimate any situation, your customers or the media. Crisis situations can be handled neatly and effectively if you know what needs to be done. 

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How To

Five Ways To Build An Effective Startup Team

Smruthi Kishore



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No matter how strong your idea is, the ultimate fate of your startup lies in the strength of your final team. It takes only one weak member to topple all your hard work and in order to avoid that, it is extremely important to make sure you have crossed all your T’s and dotted all your I’s. Here are a few tips you could follow to get the perfect team for a startup which could change the world.

1. Identify The Positions 

Before you start the hiring process, identify the positions you need for your startup. Be sure to prioritize. Figure out which position to fill first and balance out the hiring. It does not make sense to hire five project managers and not a single programmer. Be sure to have enough money or customers to pay for staffers before you start hiring them.

2. Envision The Bigger Picture 

When you go out to hire people for your startup, let your vision drive you. Why were great thinkers like Steve Jobs or Verghese Kurien so successful? Because they had a dream and they let the world know their dream. The people they hired believed in their passion and because of that, their companies are still rock solid.

3. Adopt A Game Management Approach 

Great cricket, football and basketball coaches always talk about watching films and studying the competition. As a new startup founder, you should do the same thing. Identify the competition. Understand where their strengths and weaknesses are. This helps get a clearer picture of where you are as a potential game changer. Just like our favourite coaches and quarterbacks, having a head start always helps increase your chances of winning!

4. Get A Consultant 

Every movie has the main guy and the Right Hand Guy to help with the more serious work. A consultant is also just like that. They will tell you things you do not want to hear and they will get the job done for you whether you like it or not. Get one! Play the game safe and play it right.

5. Post Hire 

Once the entire process has been finalised, it is important to do a background check on the people you are hiring. What if they look really good on paper but have serious flaws within? To avoid issues like hiring an employee with a police case or a fraud case on them, do a background case and avoid all the hassle.

Your company is as good as the people you hire. Hire the right kind of people and who knows, you could become the next Microsoft or Swiggy!

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Startup Hacks

The Difference Between Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality

Smruthi Kishore



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In the recent times, the virtual world and real world have been so interlinked, drawing a distinction has become extremely hard. One of the major technology boons is the development of different worlds of reality like augmented reality and virtual reality.

Augmented reality and virtual reality have one thing in common. They both have the ability to alter our perception of the world. Where do they differ then, you ask? In the perception of our presence. In simple words, virtual reality transports users to a different place.

Virtual reality (VR) alters our perception of the world, even if it is only for a short time. VR blocks out the room and puts our presence elsewhere. Through our senses, we are allowed to experience a world which is completely different from anything we are we know.

On the other hand, augmented reality does not take away our current state of reality. Instead, it adds to our existing reality. It does not move us elsewhere. It simply “augments” our current state of presence, often with clear visors. Augmented reality (AR) is a technology that layers computer-generated enhancements atop an existing reality in order to make it more meaningful through the ability to interact with it.

The debate came to the front because for a long time now, reality displayed in these forms was only imaginable by scientific writers. As early as the ’30s, writers, dreamers, inventors and creators dreamt of an environment where you could escape from reality through art and machines. Through the years, when inventors finally had the guts to do something extraordinary, technology evolved into giving us access to brand new worlds.

With VR, you can jump, ride, run, jump and skip. You can experience worlds by just sitting in one place. On the other hand, with augmented reality, you can literally see a shark jump out of your business card!

New VR and AR technologies and products continue to come to market, making new environments accessible to the masses. Virtual and augmented realities give us choices for a new reality and what you want to choose is entirely up to you. Let your imagination, and your readiness to try new gear, enhance your experience! Alone or blended together, augmented and virtual reality have opened real and virtual worlds which were once only accessible in movies and in the dream world!

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Startup Hacks

Reasons For Why The Customer Is Not Always Right

Smruthi Kishore



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Have you had those moments where you had to grit your teeth, take a deep breath and tell your self that it is okay because the customer is always right? Have you had those training sessions where your employers have told you that you cannot say anything to the client because the customer is always right? For some reason, we have had the “customer is always right” motto drilled into our brains from the day we start working.

The problem is, the customer IS NOT always right, and always thinking otherwise can result in a serious disservice to you, your employees, and your customers. Here are the reasons why this is true.

1. Money Is Not Everything 

When you say the customer is always right, then you give your client the idea that their money matters more than your employee’s happiness. Clients like this always demand more, always ask for more and always demand more resources than you have. At the end of the day, you need to realise money is not be all and end all. So learn to say no to your clients when you need to!

2. These Customers Are Bad For Business 

Most businesses think “the more customers the better”. However, some customers are simply bad for business. They put your team members down, they are derogatory and at the end of the day, the quality of the work which goes out is not the best it can be. Over demanding customers are never good for your business and just for this reason, drop them like a hot iron plate!

3. Results In Poor Customer Care 

The number of clients and work you take on, the more you realise this is not the kind of work you want to do. Customer care is affected and you end up losing clients you actually value at the end of the day. When this attitude prevails, employees stop caring about service. At that point, real good service is almost impossible  and the best customers can hope for is mediocre service at its best.

4. Sometimes. The Customer Is Just Wrong 

To believe that a customer is right regardless of circumstance is perhaps the greatest betrayal management can perpetrate against their staff. Sometimes customers are just wrong. To create equality in your work place, it is important to put out the message saying your employees first and then customers come next. Make sure this message is sent out loud and clear and tell your employees it is okay to say the customer is wrong.

5. Employees Remain Unhappy 

At the end of the day, it comes down to the simple fact that your employees are unhappy. Is it okay to run a business where the employees are unhappy but the customers are not? To avoid this, send out the message clearly to your employees and to your customers, saying your employees come first and then come the clients.


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