If there was ever a time for a leader to demonstrate leadership, it’s now. The immediate and ongoing impacts that COVID-19 has made to the average Australian’s life is immense. Thousands of employees have lost their jobs, others have had their hours reduced and many are trying to manage the demands of working from home while parenting, home schooling and helping others through significant changes – whether they are social, emotional, health or economic.
Your employees may have huge feelings about the uncertainty of the situation while others may suffer from not being able to control simple aspects about their lives. So how do you manage a team effectively through a crisis when you’re not really sure how to cope with it yourself?
Ensure your workplace is set up for COVID-19
If your workers are operating from the office, from home or a combination of both, ensure that your workplace complies with the standards established by the World Health organisation. We recommend a company response plan for COVID-19 and maintaining high standards of hygiene.
Leadership isn’t about having all the answers all the time. Great leaders are authentic and transparent in their communication with staff. They communicate what they know, what they don’t and ask for input as to how they can help their teams. Tension and unhappiness can mount when leaders don’t acknowledge ‘the elephant in the room.’ In times of uncertainty, leadership is key and takes priority over managing staff. As such, ensure that you communicate what you know and advise your teams that you will endeavour to find out more. It’s important to listen to the concerns that staff have about the situation rather than offering solutions.
Employees are wanting to feel caring and concern above all else at this time. With increasing amounts of employees working remotely due to COVID-19, there are ways to demonstrate compassion without working in close physical proximity. In the Gallup.com article, ‘3 Strategies for Leading Effectively Amid COVID-19’ the authors focus on three key pillars to demonstrate concern amid turbulent times:
- Employees Need Trust and Compassion: Be Present, Even When You’re Distant
- Employees Need Stability: Prioritize Wellbeing Amid Disruption
- Employees Need Hope: Anchor to Your “True North”
Access to Information
Ensure your employees have access to reliable and trusted sources of information. We recommend monitoring the World Health Organisation website and the Department of Health website for up to date information about COVID-19 and what this means for your business. Locally there are some great sources of information from the Victorian Chamber of Commerce & Industry