The nation is going through a tough time; everyone is being affected by this pandemic. While trying to deal with uncertain finances and an uncertain future, it is also important for you as leader to take care of yourself and your employees.
While you are leading your team and business through this uncharted territory, it’s essential that you maintain a healthy mindset. What can you do to take care of your mental and physical health? How are you and your family managing stay at home orders? Have you found ways to stay in touch with friends? We need to step away from this stress: turn off the news, read a book, meditate, play board games, make a new recipe with your family…Take care of YOU in order to be at your best to lead your team and take care of your business.
Constant, open communication with your employees and vendors is a must. You may not have all the answers and you certainly cannot foretell the future, but you can listen to the fears and concerns they express. Many businesses have discovered innovative ways to continue to operate. Will employees continue to be paid? What duties can be done from home? What safety procedures can you implement for employees who need to deal in close proximity with the public?
Adapting is key during this uncertain time. We don’t know how long social distancing will last and how long some businesses will need to stay closed. You may have had a month-by-month game plan in place, but you’ll need to take it day-by-day now. If you have had to cut back, are you losing revenue? Are you fortunate enough to have a cushion? Have you been in contact with your bank? Your landlord? Do you have a handle on your supply chain? What arrangements have you made with vendors? Have you researched what state and federal assistance may be available? Many businesses are finding creative ways to market products and services. Remote services are abounding. How can you take advantage of them? Your employees are on the front line; keep them in the loop and encourage their input as you make adjustments.
Strong communication is always important, but it’s especially crucial in the middle of this pandemic. Now is the time to take careful note of how everyone communicates so that you can understand how to communicate messages to them. Clarity and repetition should be a part of all communication efforts moving forward.
Even in the midst of physical distancing, we can be there for our families, friends, and employees. We can seek reasons to be grateful and pass along a positive attitude.