Work-place resilience may not be the typical hot topic in most mortgage blogs, but it should be. Especially considering the current COVID-19 crisis that the world –including your business –finds itself in.
More than ever before, every business and individual is learning just how prepared they were to handle a crisis. So, how prepared were you? How ready was your team?
How well do you think you could handle the next one?
While we hope (as we all do) that a crisis of this magnitude doesn’t occur again, we must remember that challenges will always arise.
And here’s another certainty: your business, your mortgage team, and your services are essential. That means that you have many people depending on you to do service those loans even when things have gone awry.
So how can you do that?
How can you lead a mortgage team through the storm?
And how can you prepare for your business for another blow without losing balance?
Let’s find out.
What is Work-Place Resiliency and Why it Matters to Mortgage Professionals
Resilience is the ability to cope with stress and “bounce back” from an unexpected challenge. The mortgage industry is already considered a fast-paced, stressful industry. There’s constant lead generation or brainstorming on how to generate mortgage leads. Exhaustive work to nurture the lead to a closing. Verifications and follow-ups. Marketing, recruiting, meetings —
And the list goes on.
Throw a wrench (a crisis) into all those spinning wheels (workflow), and you can get a mental image of what happens when an unexpected challenge occurs.
Low resilience is detrimental to your business and mortgage team.
Poor coping skills could result in losing prospects and loans, costly mistakes, strained work relationships, losing valuable team members in addition to a host of personal issues like depression, anxiety, and even cardiovascular disease. Stress is also taxing on families and finances.
Resiliency Matters to the Mortgage Professional
Thankfully, resiliency is an acquired skill that you can use to elevate your team during this current COVID-19 crisis and prepare them for the next challenge.
Learning resiliency also applies to your employees. Everyone has different levels of stress that they can handle. So the goal is also to enhance the individual’s ability to cope with stress as well as the team’s.
How to Lead Your Mortgage Team Through Crisis Like a Boss
Uncertainty is one of the most significant stressors of our current crisis, especially when it comes to employment. You can help to ease that stress by having an honest team-wide discussion about the current status of the company and how you plan to move forward.
Oddly enough, even less-than-optimal news can boost resiliency because the mere act of being honest speaks volumes about your integrity. Essentially, your employees will feel respected and will, in return, respect you, thanks to your transparency.
Honesty also builds trust and brings out the best in employees, even giving them a burst of optimism –something much needed in crisis environments.
Stay Calm and Seek Credible Advice
Panic can lead to some pretty ridiculous actions. Remember the toilet paper shortage? Depending on where you are in the country, it might still be an issue! And it all boils down to panic.
With this seemingly unreal pandemic and people spending more time online reading news headlines, you can see how easy it is to panic. However, as a leader, panicking is not an option. Your job is to be calm.
Not in some detached, insensitive way. But instead in an empathic, level-heading manner.
Seek information from credible sources and turn to trusted colleagues for mentorship. Connecting with leaders from other industries is just as valuable as connecting with those from the mortgage industry. The goal is to have a support system in place for yourself so that you can lead your team through the crisis.
Have a Work-Family Mindset
As mentioned above, trust plays an essential role in resiliency. When your mortgage team trusts you, it increases feelings of safety. Thus helping them to cope with the crisis better.
A powerful way to do this is to build a “work-family” mindset. Here are ways to nurture a resilient work-family culture:
- Create an environment where they can openly share negative news
- Encourage the team to discuss foreseeable challenges confidently
- Celebrate victories and give praise where praise is due
- Refer to them as a “family.”
- Encourage your family to seek support from you or another team member when they feel they need it
- Discuss resources available to help them cope with stress, such as mental health services or affirmation exercises.
- Let your team know you’re open to talking one-on-one if they feel they need it.
Here’s a surprising way to gauge how resilient your team ease –take note of how much play there is. Interestingly enough, studies show that employees that are the most resilient tend to introduce an element of “play” to the environment, further increasing the positive work-family culture.
Focus on Meaningful Work
Another way to help your team be resilient is to remind them how valuable their work is. When people see their work as relevant and making a difference, they can reframe challenges as obstacles to overcome rather than impassable roadblocks.
Reviews from clients, as well as praise from other team members, is a powerful reminder. You can also point out specific ways that they add to the advancement of the team or ease the burden of the crisis.
Finding work meaningful also compels stressed employees to recommit to their work. Stress doesn’t just cause one to worry. It can cause mental fogginess and lack of motivation –which in turn causes inferior quality work. When they find their work meaningful, it inspires employees to regulate emotions and work through the mental challenges of stress.
The result is a more productive and resilient employee.
Encourage Work-Life Balance
Those that are new to remote work may find it difficult to distinguish between work hours and off-hours. This is especially true because of the current work environment, meaning that they are working exclusively at home and possibly with family also there.
This is not typically the case with remote work.
With lines blurred between work and family and distance learning and personal time due to stay-at-home orders, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Encourage your team to keep regular work hours and permit them to log off (meaning not to answer work texts or emails) during off-hours. When employees are worried about the security of their job, they may overextend themselves, pushing them to burnout.
Work-life balance is always essential, but even more so during times of crisis. Take care of your employees, and they will take care of business.
We hope you’re finding our series of COVID-19 mortgage articles helpful! Just as much as you want your business to thrive during this quarantine, we want it for you too. Everything about LenderHomePage, from our digital mortgage tech to mortgage articles to a dedicated customer success team to our exceptional tech support team, is built for your success.
The only question is, how can we serve you. Contact us right now and let us know how we can be of service to you, your mortgage team, and your loan clients.