In the midst of a global crisis, stressors are everywhere. The pressure is on, the heat is cranked up high, and it’s putting a strain on all of us. Even the bravest of them all is dealing with unconscious worries and fears during this time of uncertainty.
And yet, while the COVID-19 situation continues to weigh down on the world, we’re defying all odds and facing the situation with optimism, strength, and hope. Life is going on. Business is operating as normally as possible as the world fights to remain intact even at what seems like the worst of times.
With the state of affairs as it is, it’s up to us to be the shining beacon of hope for those finding it hard to cope with the stress. Mental health concerns are at a peak as it’s becoming difficult for all of us to keep calm and carry on. In response to these issues, it’s vital for business leaders to support their teams right now.
Here are 5 simple ways to support your team during this, and any other, crisis.
While some of us are seamlessly adapting to work-from-home life, it’s not so easy for others.
It’s important to remember that not everyone has the same atmosphere at home that they may when they come into the office. Disruptions, family interactions, and other responsibilities may make it hard to spend a solid 9-hour shift at the computer.
Don’t be hesitant to give your team breaks and be lenient with timeframes. Providing a little flexibility here can be a massive help for those still settling into the telework reality.
Check-In With Your Team
The circumstances surrounding COVID-19 are changing constantly. Every day brings a hundred updates and every hour is a platform for breaking news, sudden discoveries, and other unexpected changes.
Make sure you’re checking in with your team amidst the chaos. As a leader, it’s important to be up to speed with what everyone is dealing with so you can adapt accordingly.
Unfortunately, this pandemic is taking the lives of family and friends. You never know what griefs and stresses are on your team members’ minds unless you ask, discuss, and share. Open up a safe space for communication that keeps you connected with your team.
Be Open to Accommodations
While we may want to force things into some structure of normalcy, now is not the time to be too overbearing. Business is certainly important, but with a global emergency knocking at our door, it may not be the topmost concern and priority of everyone on your team.
And that’s okay. Team leaders need to recognize that we’re all dealing with our own issues regarding COVID-19, so it’s necessary for bosses to be open to accommodations.
Don’t Exacerbate the Stress
The biggest way that team leaders can support their staff during this crisis is to be a source of light and positivity – not an additional stressor. In this overwhelming situation, the last thing you want to do is make things worse. Be kind, forgiving, and try not to exacerbate the stress.
These lessons will stay with us as we move forward and past the COVID-19 pandemic. While most things will go back to normal, others will continue to be a part of our baseline operations. Hopefully, this heightened compassion within workspace cultures will be a lesson that sticks around.