Restoring Confidence in Crisis
The recent COVID-19 virus outbreak has a lot of businesses rethinking the way work gets done. Since the majority of workers are “social distancing” and with the recent need to work from home, is it possible to be productive in a time like this? Transitioning from a traditional workspace to an at-home office can be difficult and feel impossible. It’s important that your employees are prepared and calm. Preparing your managers and employees and restoring confidence in them can help take a little of the stress and panic away.
Here are some ways to be sure that you, your managers and employees feel reassured during a moment of crisis.
- 1) Remote work. Have your employees worked from home before? After figuring out technology logistics, the next step is to prepare your employees for the adjustment, because working from home is different than being in the office. There are more distractions that can pull employees away from their work when they are at home. Their work responsibilities do not change, but how work gets done will be different. Managers and employees need to know what to prepare for and ensure they can be productive and stay an integrated part of the team. Setting a schedule and creating boundaries while at home will help the transition. What about your managers leading a team from home? Are they prepared to lead a team remotely? While the principles of effective leadership and team management haven’t changed, maintaining peak performance and keeping employees engaged when everyone is separated is a tall task for any manager or organization. After all, managers can’t see what their teams are doing, how they are doing it and if they are even working!
- 2) Communicate! Communication is vital to keeping everyone informed especially during a moment of crisis. The way you communicate is extremely important. George Bernard Shaw, a famous Irish playwright said: “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.” This means that when correct communication or messaging has not been communicated, people are going to assume incorrect information and that is how rumors and false information is spread. Don’t leave your employees to speculate - communicate clearly! It is important to deliver clear and concise information to your team. When you do, you’ll find your team knows what they need to do, and fewer mistakes are made because everyone is clear on what needs to be done. As a result, you will be more successful. Also, when you work in an office together, you build relationships with people face-to-face and have more opportunities to converse socially with your team. When you are remote, it’s important to build connections with your team like you would if you were in an office.
• Communication Skills for Managers
• Communicating with Others
- 3) Strengthen the team. When a team is cohesive and works well together, individuals are more engaged, more productive, and are more satisfied at work. A great team environment benefits everyone including individual employees, managers and the organization. When your team is strong, it will strengthen your employees ability to work well with others. If you are dealing with a pandemic, you want to be sure your team sticks together, can communicate together and that your team knows the game plan and can continue work without missing a beat.
• Creating Great Teamwork
• Increasing Employee Engagement
- 4) Prepare your managers. When your employees are faced with a pandemic, it can be a time of uncertainty. Your managers will probably be fielding a lot of questions and under stress. An idea would be to have check-in meetings to ask about the employees wellbeing during this pandemic, to make sure everyone knows what is going on and to answer your employee’s questions and concerns. It also may be a good time for managers to take a look at their work goals to see if they are still relevant during all of these changes. Your managers likely need to to develop new skills or take on a different project.
• Conflict Management Skills
• Giving Great Feedback
• Managing for Success
• Building Trust and Respect
We all need to keep in mind that things are changing at a rapid pace. It’s important for employees and managers to be adaptable and for you to help them feel supported during this time.
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