Although some employees are able to work from home or take paid sick leave during the coronavirus outbreak, many others still have to come in to work. This is a stressful time for everyone, especially those without the luxury of staying home. If you are a manager, supervisor or other leader, it’s likely that you feel overwhelmed and anxious. However, your employees are also experiencing stress. Now is an important time to look out for your employees’ physical and mental well-being by demonstrating strong leadership skills. Below, some tips on being a good boss during a highly stressful time.
Communicate Clearly and Often
Good leaders communicate clearly and often. There is no such thing as too much communication, especially when circumstances are changing everyday. Don’t leave employees in the dark about scheduling or policy changes. If you speak with an employee about an important matter, followup with an email so that they have the information in writing and something to refer back to if they forget aspects of your conversation.
Be Willing to Address Questions and Concerns
Workers will be coming to you with questions and concerns. Yes, you may think you have properly addressed them already but don’t be angry when people need clarification. Employees should not be afraid to come to you for help.
Don’t Take Negative Feelings Out on Others
Even though you may be overwhelmed, it’s not okay to take your frustrations out on those who help keep your business, department or organization running. This will lower morale and create resentment at a time when you need the help of your employees most. Instead, consider keeping a journal or using an online therapy service.
Give Employees Extra Praise and Encouragement
Employees not working from home are putting their health at risk. Show your gratitude by giving praise and encouragement to your team. Employees who feel valued are more likely to go above and beyond for you.
Make Employee Safety a Priority
Don’t force employees to come into the office if they can work from home. For employees that must be physically present, ensure that they have enough cleaning supplies and protective equipment. For information on how to prepare your workplace, read OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.
A good leader takes responsibility, maintains calm during a crisis, clearly communicates, offers encouragement and looks out for employee safety. By showing respect and compassion for your employees, you’ll keep morale high and ensure productivity does not suffer.