Uncertainty is at new heights. Across the world, public gatherings and major events have been canceled. Employees are adjusting to working from home every day. Universities and schools have moved classes online. Parents are creating new, innovative schedules for their children who are now home. As conversations and concerns around COVID-19 continue to grow, it’s easy for us to focus on all the things we can’t control.
What happens though when we shift our focus and instead think about what we can do? Through many conversations with our clients and other thought leaders, we have generated a list of three things that leaders can control right now. By doing these three things, leaders will not only be able to better support their teams, but the shift in mindset will also benefit their mental health during a time of great uncertainty.
1. Turn the temperature down – Work to create a calm and safe space for your team, your clients, and others to communicate with one another. Sharing accurate information about COVID-19, listening to others’ concerns, and showing compassion, can go a long way in helping others feel less stressed and also allow you to connect with the people around you.
As Jason Schwartz, Legal Litigation Partner of Gibson & Dunn, pointed out in our recent podcast “Simple things matter. Even a leader of a team saying ‘thank you’ to everybody and showing understanding about what’s going on and all the pressures they face. A little bit of kindness and a little bit of culture will go a very long way in this environment. As senior leaders, don’t forget that the day-to-day appreciation, outreach, and virtual human touch to your teams is extraordinarily important.”
2. Activate your networks to problem solve together – We’re all in this together. Don’t hesitate to reach out to other leaders in your network to hear what they are doing to support their leaders and guide their organizations through crisis. Together we can problem solve and learn from one another. To best support HR leaders during this time, ExecOnline has created a dedicated resource hub where you can find podcasts, webinars, and much more that discuss best practices on how HR Leaders can respond, manage, and prepare for the impact of COVID19.
3. Connect in new ways with your team – Take the time to build out a virtual office culture and let people bring their real-life into the work environment. As Melody Jones, Former CAO of CEB, shared in our podcast, “Setting up virtual ways to continue to foster interaction that is not necessarily focused on the work, but just on reconnecting the teams, reconnecting the manager with the teams, getting senior leadership out in front – these are things that are going to be increasingly important.”
What are some new, innovative ways we can connect virtually with our peers and team? Some ideas we have heard worth sharing are fun online workouts, delicious recipes, activities for kids while you work, and even virtual book clubs. Let your leaders bring their real-life into the work environment.