It is safe to say that many businesses have had to adapt really quickly to the current situation. Businesses that had no idea how to incorporate remote working have had to do it quickly. But while we’ve all discovered new ways of working we’ve had to figure out how to keep our employees motivated during this difficult time. While it might not be top of your priority list right now, happy employees will continue to be productive ones. But this also means that you’ve got to learn how to manage them. You may very well be concerned about the state of the business but what can we do to make sure that our employees feel part of the organization despite what is going on?
If we are more transparent our employees will know where they stand. It can prove to be challenging, especially when we have numerous employees to liaise with. But if we can find blanket ways to keep our employees on the same page this will go to alleviate some fears. Now, the benefit of work tools like Slack and Zoom have come into their own, and if we can increase our platforms for communication, whether this is incorporating a Coronavirus text alert so our employees are as up-to-date as humanly possible or improving our communication tools, we can work better at managing their anxieties. As simple as it is, being transparent can prove difficult, especially if we are worried about how long this pandemic will last and if our business will survive. But it’s not just about communicating the good things; it’s about communicating the bad but incorporating action plans so our employees know what will happen should things get worse. Ambiguity will breed anxiety so let’s minimize it.
Checking In With Them On An Individual Basis
It’s not easy to check in with them on an individual basis but while you may very well be having daily briefings where you can see them all, sometimes employees feel they can’t speak out on such an open forum. When our employees have individual stresses it’s crucial to ensure that they are focused and happy. And checking in with them on a semi-regular basis isn’t just being a good leader but it’s being a good friend. And this is something that we have to relax right now. Running a business is always at the forefront of our minds but when our employees feel so worried that they can’t do their job properly we must figure out a way to lessen their worries by providing a sympathetic ear or a friendly shoulder. When we get into the habit of checking in on an individual basis, like a quick phone call, the more we do this the more our employees will feel that they can open up. Some employees will keep everything bottled up and feel that they can’t speak their fears because you are “the boss.” But now is the perfect opportunity to incorporate a culture of sympathy and support. What’s more, this should be the perfect time to make it last well beyond the end of this crisis.
Understand Your Individual Stresses
If you are a good boss you will do everything you can for your employees to minimize their fears. And while it’s fantastic that you are doing everything for them, are you neglecting your own needs? You may feel hell-bent on keeping the business afloat which means that you are working overtime. And while in one respect it’s a very useful distraction considering the current climate, you’ve also got to realize if you are working yourself to the bone.
Managing your employees during a crisis isn’t just about giving them everything they need but it’s about them recognizing that you are focused and professional. If they see that you look like you’re about to break, this won’t fill them with confidence, so you need to lead by example. And it’s a lesson that we all need to learn anyway. If you look after yourself you will look after everybody else much better. Take the opportunity every single day, not just to look at the company and employees, but also look at yourself and see if you are looking after yourself properly. One of the great benefits of working from home right now is that we can have more control over our diet and our downtime. Use this as the perfect opportunity to instill some better habits.
It’s a time of the precariousness but we can also so use this as an opportunity for some introspection. Your employees need your support and you have to give them what they need. And if you struggled to support them before, this can be the best opportunity to draw a line in the sand.