The ability of an organization to weather the coronavirus outbreak lies in its adaptability, resilience and collaborative potential and these traits are needed from employees.
However business leaders need to prove their leadership and emphatic skills during this period.
5 WAYS BUSINESS LEADERS CAN HELP EMPLOYEES
- Communicate clearly with everyone
Regular, open communication is key. With so much uncertainty, it falls to leaders to be the calm voice of reason and reassure employees, remembering that how you communicate is just as important as what you communicate. “Leaders have an essential role in ensuring communications are concise, unambiguous and timely to answer these questions for different stakeholder groups: What’s changing? Why? What does it mean for me?” Communication must be calm and transparent about actions and realistic timelines.
- Shift your leadership style
If you are usually a decisive, authoritative leader, crises like the coronavirus outbreak will be where you come into your own, but it is not always the right approach when it comes to employee. Good leaders must be able to judge what tone best suits each occasion.
- Relax the rules
This is not a case of ‘business as usual’…but at home. Any leader who fails to acknowledge the psychological impact of being in lockdown or quarantined at home, will be letting their staff down. Workers’ needs, behaviours and attitudes to their work will change. Savvy leaders must be able to distinguish when behaviour is born out of uncertainty or fear and support rather than chastise employees.
- Locate the resources
When it comes to managing employees during the coronavirus outbreak, there are limits to the support business leaders can offer themselves. Without face-to-face access to therapists, counselors, in-house employee support groups or HR professionals, many workers may not know where to turn. As an employer, in this situation the best thing you can do is be acquainted with the resources available, and signpost them clearly for staff.
- Know when to step aside
And sometimes, the boldest step a leader can make, is knowing when they are not the best person for the job. “Unprecedented times demand that leaders take a bold step forward and engage wholeheartedly,” says Armstrong. “It is not for the faint-hearted and, if someone near you is equal to the task, and you are not, summon your courage and step aside to be their loyal number two, it could be the greatest act of servant leadership available to you.”