Covid-19 Is Still with Us
Who could have predicted that we would be in the middle of summer and still in the grip of the Coronavirus? Some of us hoped that with the summer heat we might be out of the woods. But we all know that hasn’t happened. The toll on our employees and businesses is not easing, and our anxiety only grows as we fear an even greater resurgence in the fall. How will we be able to keep our employees and ourselves sound and healthy through this pandemic?
This Is Definitely Not Business As Usual
Recently, From Day One, a media and conference company, released an article offering some guidance for managers and leaders to follow when trying to keep their employees engaged and thriving while keeping their own sanity and emotional wellness in check.
No matter which industry you work in, it's almost certain that the Coronavirus pandemic and its economic aftershocks will affect your business and, more specifically, your team. Right now, it feels as though everyone is starting at the beginning and scrambling to keep up. If you're in a leadership position, this can feel like an even bigger challenge.
Tips for Staying Sane
Those in team leadership, top management, and human resources are often looked at as beacons of hope or guidance. Is it possible to be everything to everyone? There are ways to deal with these challenges, and it starts by assessing what your employees need most right now. No one says it’s going to be easy, but here are a few ideas from the article that may help keep everyone well-balanced.
Give them your attention. Open-door policies and frequent check-ins are popular with hands-on managers during the best of times—and for good reason. Employees feel more engaged and invested in their work when they feel heard and understood.
That's especially true now when our attention is split in a million ways. Even if your team is adapting to a remote work set-up, consider the ways you can offer your undivided attention, even in small bursts.
Communicate like you've never communicated before. Radio silence is the enemy. Offer small updates, even if the update is that you don't have anything new to report. They show the team that they're still a priority, even during a time of crisis.
You can also consider how you're communicating with prospective team members. Even though hiring a new employee is probably at the end of their priority list, sending that one quick email shows the company is still functioning, that they respect the prospective employee's time, and sets a clear expectation for an outcome.
- Make calculated decisions but don't be afraid to change your mind. Employees love bosses who can make decisions. And now, during a time when so much is uncertain, it can feel cathartic to have decisions made for you that erase some of that uncertainty.
Major changes such as remote work schedules, paid time off and sick leave, adjusted working hours for parents whose children are now home – employees will be grateful if you can share your decisions on these topics before they have to approach you themselves.
- Offer kind feedback. This isn't the time for a full-fledged performance review. Avoid that. But do be liberal about giving feedback and praise. Employees don't want to feel like they're alone or worse, like their adaptability isn't being noticed.
Extend a few generous observations their way. We don't want people to burn out, and they need to know when to step away from their computers now that many are at home seven days a week.
- Throw out your old expectations and create new ones. While it's natural to want to stick to a timeline established earlier in the year, extend a favor to everyone and re-evaluate your goals and expectations now so that later you don't feel compelled to scramble and try to meet them.
If an employee is following up about paid time off or flexibility with working hours, remember that their responsibilities likely encompass the needs of their family, friends, and of course, themselves. Remember that everyone is working hard, and everyone is human.
For more information about employee engagement and the Coronavirus, click here to read our blog post on the topic.
We Truly Are All in This Together
Your employees’ mental and emotional health is always our top priority. Call us if we can help.