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Keeping a Sense of Urgency – Without the Stress

The last thing any professional, or just human being, for that matter, needs at a time of unknown is more stress. Naturally, when a crisis hits, people react with an increased sense of urgency based on sliding into survival mode. On a professional front, this reaction is the same, especially when it comes to the expectations set on job or career responsibilities.

As an employee, having a sense of urgency is a positive for business growth and productivity, but it doesn’t necessarily have to come paired with stress. So how can professionals hold on to a sense of urgency that makes them successful without the stress?

Communicate Clearly and Consistently

Every employee deserves to hear and needs to hear a clear message from leadership. When a manager is transparent, it gives the employee an understanding of what is happening and why it’s happening. It also allows the staff to know exactly where they stand and where expectations lie when an unexpected change occurs.

Promote Culture of Urgency

Before a crisis hits, a company’s culture should already be built where a sense of urgency is the norm. In an environment where urgency can be a state of mind, it promotes employees to always be on the lookout for how processes or policies can continuously improve. This type of culture is what spurs innovation.

Nip Negativity in the Bud

If encouraging a sense of urgency is an organizational change, it’s expected that there will be those who will balk at the change. Change is difficult in the workplace and usually comes with bumps in the road, so it’s important to prepare for the opportunity to address those who might disagree with the change. And if they can’t come around, sometimes employees don’t fit a culture, and that’s for management to decide.

Clarify Consequences and Recognize Wins

If employees don’t follow through on channeling a sense of urgency, make sure they know the consequences. There should be no surprises when clear, transparent communication is established, as mentioned above. The same type of communication should come when employees embrace and excel at creating a sense of urgency. Build them up in front of the organization and celebrate their accomplishment.

Model Behavior

If those in leadership roles plan and take action quickly and efficiently, displayed in a way that others can see, it portrays a decisive behavior. The hope is that by modeling this behavior, it becomes contagious to others and showcases the company’s standard.

Provide Incentive

Any professional wants to see potential in the work they do. Especially when they know what they are working towards for not only themselves but the organization. After discussing the actual work expectations, be transparent about what’s really in it for them. Create a performance plan that maps out their expectations and the rewards if they reach specific goals. A plan with designated goals will help drive that urgency, hopefully leading to innovation.

Empower Colleagues

Build up your team to deliver. Promoting an environment of independence that shows you trust the employees makes a professional feel more in control and accountable for their actions. Think of how many of us operate when control is taken out of our hands? Usually, riddled with anxiety. Putting control back in an employee’s hands eases anxiety and helps them feel responsible for success. In life, we are put more at ease when control is in our hands. Allow employees to focus on their work, knowing you trust them in the process.

Any tips for creating a sense of urgency without adding the extra stress that can come with it? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out 5 Simple Ways to Crisis-Proof Your Career.