In these uncertain times, your employees don’t expect you to have all the answers about what the future might bring.
What they are looking for, though, is leadership. And that means being able to give them two things: (1) a sense of stability and (2) a vision of the firm’s future.
“In the best of times, employees often look to their company’s leaders as a source of information, clarity and guidance,” writes Nicole Fallon in this US Chamber of Commerce blogpost. “During a crisis like COVID-19, a leader has an even greater responsibility to support their teams and assuage their growing concerns.”
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4 Ways to Lead Your Team During a Pandemic
Here are some ways Fallon says you can offer exemplary leadership:
- Provide consistent communication. Let everyone on your team know your opening hours, remote-work plans and any changes in roles, functions or responsibilities. “During any crisis, leaders must provide frequent updates to ensure that everyone in the organization is up to date,” she writes. “This is especially important during COVID-19, when new statistics and safety guidelines are being issued constantly.”
- Check in with your employees. Show empathy. Ask about the health and safety of them and their families. If they are facing unique challenges like caring for small children or elderly parents, ask how you can help. “If your employees are dealing with personal situations, it may be more difficult for them to juggle a ‘typical’ 9-to-5 workday,” she writes. “It can be helpful to make accommodations for these team members, such as providing flexible work hours or adjusting meeting times.”
- Create a sense of community. “Staying connected and bringing some positivity into your (virtual) workplace can help relieve some of the anxiety and tension your team is likely feeling at home.” Consider: daily text message updates, video meetups or virtual happy hours.
- Take care of yourself. Be a good role model for wellness. Remember to put your oxygen mask on first. Practicing mindfulness, getting physical exercise, going for walks and enjoying nature can reduce stress and enhance creativity.
Here are some resources from the US Chamber of Commerce:
- Reopening Guide and Resources
- Social Media Toolkit for Reopening for Reopening
- State-by-State Business Reopening Guide with interactive map
- Paycheck Protection Loan Guide
- Coronavirus Response Toolkit for Businesses
- CARES Act Guide for Independent Contractors and 1099 Workers
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