As business owners, we go through a high level of stress as you try to manage your business and work with your team during this period of time.
In this video, I explain why it makes business sense to help team members struggling during this pandemic and what you can do to help them manage the challenges they are facing.
There are many benefits to nurturing an environment that genuinely takes care of your team. As I explained in a previous video, emotions drive productivity—and positive emotions result in increased productivity. On the flip side, negative emotions and stress decrease productivity.
In yet another video, I explained that having the right kind of environment, where people feel respected and where members of the team are confident that others have their back, is key to developing a high-powered team. Most importantly, remember that your business is operated by your team. When they struggle, your business struggles, too. Richard Branson famously said, “Take care of your employees and they take care of your business.”
What can you do to help your employees manage during the Covid-19 pandemic?
First, it helps the most to shift your mindset and remember that this is not business as usual. Nothing will work or appear as usual. This is a pandemic that will likely stretch out for months or even years to come. For some businesses, this may mean making many drastic measures with how they do their business, how they run their operations, and how they serve their customers.
While change is the only thing constant in the world, adapting to change can still be a struggle—some more than others. Your business isn’t the only one experiencing this change. Many things are changing, too, in people’s households. Everything looks very different from the normal that we are used to.
It will help your employees if you help them change their mindset, too. Check-in with your employees regularly. Ask them how they are coping. Work with them on how to provide the necessary tools and support so that they can succeed not just in their work but also in adapting to the new normal.
It is also important to provide guidelines on how employees can take care of their physical and mental health during this time. If you haven’t already, take swift action to implement recommended public health measures.
Second, be transparent. People experience a lot of stress, which comes from a lot of uncertainty and changes. Everyone who needed to work remotely has had to juggle their home life with work life. Being in a pandemic, some people fear getting sick, or having a loved one fall ill. This pandemic has also affected economies and businesses, so there is also the fear of losing jobs.
As employers, we can address their uncertainties with their jobs by being transparent with how the business is going and, more importantly, what measures you are doing to help keep things afloat. It will also help your employees if you communicate what you need from them so that everyone knows what they should be doing to help the business going despite the uncertainty.
Be transparent with your customers, too. Again, this is not business as usual. Some things will take longer to process, produce, or deliver. Let your customers know about any supply or service issues that you are experiencing. This will help manage their expectations. This will also help your employees who deal with your customers—you don’t want your customers to take their frustrations out on your employees if they don’t receive the same level of service that they are used to.
Thirdly, train leaders, managers, and colleagues on how to support employees. Sometimes, the lack of support is not a result of the lack of intent to provide support. Many times, it is brought by the lack of understanding on how to provide support. Some managers may not understand how supporting a struggling employee looks like. And some policies or tools that managers would typically lean on may no longer work during this time.
If your business can afford it, you may seek help from a consultant or business coach to train managers on how to manage during Covid-19. If you can’t, you may want to meet with your managers as a group to conceive a plan on how you provide support to each other at this time.
Lastly, offer flexibility. If your business allows employees to work remotely during this time and your employees will feel safer or they feel that this is the best option for them in the short- to medium-term, please do so.
The important thing is to make work expectations clear. What do they need to accomplish at a given period of time? Or, what kind of turnaround time do you expect from them? For example, you give them something to work on at the beginning of the week, when do you expect them to turn over the work? Do you expect them to turn in work at the end of the week or the beginning of next week? Please be as clear as possible
It’s important that expectations are clear as this affects morale and productivity. It especially affects employees who may not be working remotely—they may feel that they are not offered the same level of flexibility. In a previous video, I explain how you can boost morale and motivate a team that is comprised of both remote and in-house employees.
How about you? How are you helping manage your employees during the Covid19 pandemic? Send me an email or leave a reply below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
If you are interested to know more about what a business has to go through when facing exponential growth, you can download the first chapter of the book, ”$20K to $20 Million in 2 Years” absolutely free here. The chapter talks about the differences between a good and a great business and puts out questions that make you consider how you can turn your business from good to great.