These are unprecedented times, and there’s no ‘user manual’ for business leaders to follow during a pandemic.
Leaders have to learn as they go, just like everyone else. The best thing they can do is lean on proven leadership tactics they have worked during past times of crisis. Below are a few tips on how you can effectively lead your employees during this difficult time.
Identify with Your Employees
The coronavirus is expected to exacerbate the socioeconomic divides that already exist. For company leaders, this means it’s important to be particularly sensitive to employees at the bottom of the corporate ladder.
At a time like this, employees would like to feel they are in the exact same situation as their superiors. You want your employees to see that despite the fact that the leader has to manage the company, she or he is still a human being; somebody that cares deeply and identifies with what they are going through.
A leader must continue expressing the values and actions she or he expects from their team but shouldn’t involve being placed above employees. For some leaders, one of the most difficult things to do is to act on the opinions and inputs of others. However, that’s precisely what they have to do in times like this, particularly when the cause of the crisis is outside of their control.
Keep Employees Safe
At the moment, the main focus ought to be on keeping staff members and their families safe. Making employees feel protected and taken care of will help keep employees concentrating on their jobs as much as possible as the outbreak’s impact continues.
Keep Employees Productive
Even before the pandemic, remote work was becoming a fact of life in the modern workplace, and the coronavirus has only accelerated companies investing tools and systems in keeping employees productive remotely. If companies don’t have robust collaboration tools now, they have to acquire and implement them as soon as possible.
Leaders ought to maintain frequent contact with remote staff members. Getting feedback through quick surveys can provide leaders with essential information on concerns and potential solutions to resolve those concerns.
Leaders need to be agile, not just in shifting work schedules, but also in their approach to leadership. In fact, several leadership styles will probably be useful as the pandemic and recovery continues. For example, a focus on employee engagement, where choices are made through collaboration, may be ideal at the moment. As the recovery gathers steam, a more direct approach to make up for time lost may be the best approach.
Prioritize Transparent Communication
Leaders should try to communicate as quickly and as clearly as possible to confront possible issues and combat false information. Talking with staff members about what protocols this company is setting up to keep them safe should be the first priority. A select team of staff members should be responsible for communications with those outside the company, including clients, partners, and vendors.
We Can Help During this Difficult Time
At Career Concepts, we take pride in supporting our clients, especially during difficult times. If your company is currently looking for HR assistance, please contact us today.