In times like these, uncertainty is kind of the name of the game. The coronavirus outbreak has changed a lot of things about our lives and the economy, and leaders everywhere are stepping up and guiding their employees through this challenging period. As a business owner, it’s time for you to step up as well!
Your workers are looking to you to lead them through the rockiness of the pandemic, so it’s important to have a plan and think of ways to keep your ship sailing smoothly in these choppy waters. Leaders need to be able to adapt and change their ways of thinking so they can keep everything running, but how can you do that? Never fear, we’re here to help. Here are a few tips on how you can step up and be the leader that your team needs you to be during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Put Your People First
With the economic forecast so uncertain and so many businesses being forced to close down, it might be tempting to try to push your workers harder just so you can stay afloat. Smart leaders, however, are laying off the gas and going easier on their employees. Remember, as hard as things are for you, they’re at least as hard on each of your workers. Everybody has a lot to worry about, your workers included, and putting more stress on them isn’t going to lead to good results.
A happy employee is a productive employee, so lightening the load and understanding that things aren’t normal is a big part of leading your team through this crisis. Keep in mind that many of your employees have families that they’re worried about, and child care resources aren’t as easily available as they were before the outbreak. If you let your employees know that they and their families are real priorities for you, that can go a long way towards keeping them relaxed and productive.
Acknowledge The Changes
Everything has been changing recently, and being upfront about those changes is a great first step towards leading your team through them. You need to be able to adapt to how things are now, instead of just pretending that everything is still the same. Your employees are all extremely aware of how the coronavirus has changed their work and home lives, so letting them know you understand that is a good idea.
You need to acknowledge the brand new challenges that your workers are dealing with every day and figure out ways to help them deal with the changes. This can be as simple as giving all your employees a chance to speak during meetings about how things are going and bring up any new issues that they’re dealing with. Make sure they know that you’re in this with them, and you’re figuring things out as you go just like they are. Try sending weekly COVID-19 newsletters to pass any relevant information on to your employees, and give them the chance to share how they’re doing.
Be Open And Honest In Your Communication
Nobody has all the answers right now, and it might be tempting to just tell your employees that you have everything figured out. However, you should resist that urge. One important part of leadership during a crisis is being honest with your team. Nobody expects you to have all the information or a perfect plan, and that’s okay! Just letting your workers know exactly what’s going on and the steps you’re currently taking is enough to reassure them.
Being vague or just telling them that everything is under control could have the opposite effect, so try to stay open when you communicate with your employees. Remember that it’s not your job to fix the COVID-19 outbreak by yourself! All you need to do is lead your team and help them get through it. Everyone is in this together, so open and honest communication is a great way to make sure your workers are all on the same page with you.
Remember To Listen
It’s impossible to plan for every challenge that your team might come across during a crisis, so it’s important to listen to them and understand the unique issues that they’re facing in their work. Keeping the lines of communication open will help you adjust to any curveballs the outbreak might throw your way while reassuring your employees that you’re here to give them what they need. Your workers might be able to uncover issues that you haven’t even thought of and might even come up with some solutions on their own if you’re willing to listen to them.
Having more eyes and brains working on something is often a good idea in general, so don’t be afraid to use your employees as a resource for knowledge and information. A good leader should be open to anything their team has to say, and that only becomes more important during a crisis like this one. Don’t just rely on yourself! Remember that you and your team are meant to be supporting each other, and listen to what they have to say. The results might surprise you.
Keep Your Employees Motivated
Morale and motivation have been hit hard by the COVID-19 outbreak, and it’s not hard to see why. Not only has the workplace become more challenging, but everything else in life has as well. Your employees have to worry about catching the virus and getting sick or passing it on to their families, and it can be hard to focus on work when you’re too busy stressing about everything else.
That’s why making a point of improving morale and motivation can be so helpful. Find out what motivates and encourages them, and use that as a starting point. If you need help, you can try hiring professional conference speakers to work on your team’s motivation. Professional speakers can be a huge boost to your team if you pick the right one, so taking a look at them is a great idea.
A crisis like this is a great opportunity for you to step up and use your leadership skills to guide your team. Follow these tips, but also trust in yourself and your team. Your employees are looking to you now, so it’s up to you to be the best leader you can be.