March 24, 2020 Christian Ravanal

3 Ways to Emotionally Support your Staff During a Pandemic

If you’re an employer you are likely to have a million thoughts running through your mind. Along with keeping up with the number of revisions and recommendations given daily by our Governing bodies, you too are instantly in charge of communicating these updates to staff as they happen; competently and positively – which is tough given the unpredictable state of business right now.

Generally speaking, as an employer, you have well-defined responsibilities towards your staff. These involve work health and safety, staff training, and any relevant legal obligations. These, of course, will need to be continued throughout the pandemic.

What we suggest you focus on right now is how to look after your staff’s emotional state; given this situation is unusual and lots of us are feeling overwhelmed by the immediate changes to our day-to-day. So, here are 3 simple ways you can emotionally support your staff during a pandemic:

Start by checking in with your staff regularly.
Now that you’re all working from home, it can feel strange calling your boss constantly throughout the day, so we suggest if you are the employer you make a conscious effort to regularly check in with your staff as often as possible. That can mean a morning & afternoon call, several texts, or a group conference call with your direct reports, perhaps even creating a group chat on Whats-app or Slack. Whatever tool you prefer, your priority should be to keep the lines of communication with staff always open.

Keep everyone updated on how business is operating
In unpredictable times, people welcome transparency. For some businesses ( like us, here at OITC), this pandemic is prompting us to think outside the box and to be innovative when it comes to new revenue streams. As an employer, share this information, be open and honest, make it clear to staff what will change and how it will influence their role and daily responsibilities. Yes, this might be a conversation you want to avoid but remember in the end people will appreciate the transparency.

Be the leader you were born to be!
This is your moment to be the leader you were destined to be. It is important to be mindful of your mood – try to give yourself moments of quiet so you can be completely present when staff need you. Have reasonable expectations of staff, as some will have kids at home, or will need to care for family or friends during the pandemic. Be patient with staff who are feeling anxious or nervous, offer support where you can and remind staff of the companionship they have with work colleagues regardless of their geographic location. Be conscious that YOU are setting an example of how your staff will respond to this disruption.

One way or another, this pandemic will end, so take this opportunity to show your strong leadership skills and emotionally support your staff. Your response and actions will be something they remember always.

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We welcome you to contact us for more information about any of our services.