Leading Your Team Through COVID-19.
How can a leader stay calm, informed, positive, and productive during a time like this? We know that this situation is changing daily and it can be overwhelming at best. However, we believe with the right tools leaders can navigate their teams through this pandemic and come out stronger on the other side.
Social distancing is currently being encouraged but we do not know when (like in Italy) it will be forced. If you have a team that can work remotely, now is the time to implement those procedures. If your team has never worked remotely before you will need to have clear expectations before it begins. Here are some suggestions:
- Hold conference calls with platforms like Zoom.
- When you are holding a meeting, you can make it an expectation that your team have their video camera on.
- Make it clear that work times are work times and not the time to multitask.
- How quickly do you expect your team to respond to emails and phone calls?
- How will you share sensitive information? Email? Online sharing platforms like Slack or Basecamp?
- Make sure your team knows how they get in touch with you. If your team knows there is open communication, they are less likely to feel isolated.
If you run a business where remoting in is not possible it can be trickier. Here are some suggestions in order to keep your team healthy.
- Ensure people know they are expected to stay home when they are sick. We all know that person that will come in no matter how sick because they want to feel reliable. However, this is not the time to track attendance, it’s the time to keep everyone safe.
- Make sure you are cleaning surfaces and washing hands. The CDC website has a ton of informational posters you can print and hang around the office.
- Consider working in shifts. The less people in the building at a time the better. If you can switch your team from 9-5 into three different shifts you can reduce the number of people coming into contact with one another.
Now more than ever you need to make sure you have an emergency preparedness plan in order.
Working with a partner to create one can take some of the stress off. You need to have someone who understands what is being required, the laws that are being passed, and how you can keep your team functional through this storm. This is the first time any of us have experienced something like this, and it is scary. Your people are looking to you as an example, so make sure you have someone to lean on. You cannot carry the burden alone, and doing so puts everyone at more risk. Take care of your team but do not forget to take care of yourself as well. Your team will always remember how you handled this pandemic. Make sure it's in a way you are proud of. If you need help making sense of laws being passed, emergency plans, a remote working plan, and team communication please reach out. We are always here to help.