Pivoting in a crisis: how to lead staff into the (relative) unknown

For any business to be successful it may need to consider pivoting in a crisis and leading staff into the (relative) unknown.

More and more often, businesses are looking at the competition, customer behaviour and the market in general, and making a decision that will impact the whole organisation. 

Many businesses large and small have been impacted by the coronavirus, and a growing number are still looking at changing how they operate because of the pandemic and beyond 2021. 

Pivoting in a crisis changes original business objectives and works towards a new approach. 

If your business is considering, or about to embark on a pivot, we’ve put together some suggestions that will help keep your team motivated through the change. 


Remaining level-headed and sticking to a plan will really help. Once the decision has been made to pivot, put together the most detailed plan you can that covers every aspect of the business. Start with what changes need to be made, and highlight how you plan to overcome the obstacles that lie ahead of you. Then, look at how you plan to grow in line with these changes and inevitable challenges. 

Accumulate data

Data and the research you conduct will be key to the pivot. It will mean that you need to re-evaluate the company’s goals and factor in the new data you find. Every pivot is different because your one may be led by marketing, customer feedback, revenue, or a little bit of all three.

Data received by employees is also important whilst pivoting in a crisis, so that you can measure team spirit and morale. Regular check-in meetings with the team are very worthwhile.

Continue to listen to your customers

The business has probably changed because your customer has. Reach out and connect with them through an online survey or seek customer reviews and feedback on social media. Give them a reason to interact with you. 

Can you tweak your offering a little or do you need to, where necessary, introduce a completely new proposition? The only way to find out is by listening to them. 

Diversify and adapt

If traffic to your site is down, or your bottom line has been impacted, don’t be frightened to change direction completely. At the very least, be open to adapting to different things. It doesn’t have to be anything too radical. It may involve a greater presence on social media, webinars, training guides, business tips or online seminar sessions that in more “normal” circumstances, you wouldn’t consider. 

Communicate to the team

Putting a pivot in place is the first part. Shortly after, you need team and company buy-in as quickly as possible. Don’t tell your team when you’re ready to press “go”. That’s too late. 

Communicate with them through each stage and let them know the timelines you are working towards. 

When the planning stage has been concluded, share as much of it with them as you can, and be honest about the direction you are looking to take. 

When you’ve done this, make sure you provide your team with the necessary resources so that they can succeed. 

If your business is going through a time of change, you can still reward existing staff.

Asda gift cards and e-Gifts are the ultimate way to say whatever you want, but better.

Whether you’re looking for customer reward schemes, staff incentives or employee benefits, do it with Asda for Business and you get to give more than a gift… they can choose anything they want from thousands of products in over 600 stores and anything online at groceries.asda.com or at George.com.

Give them a gift that gets them anything – from weekly shops to weekend home makeover essentials. Give them an Asda for Business gift card