I’m a massive ambassador for showing vulnerability in leadership.
I share with my team all the ups and downs I experience as a business owner. Not in a ‘having a whinge’ kind of way, but instead from an authentic and open position.
Because nobody’s made of stone - not me, not my team.
Humanising myself in this way allows my team to feel comfortable sharing what’s going on in their own lives as well.
And when we all understand each other, and feel supported to be our authentic selves, our culture stays strong. Together we remain an unshakeable force.
No doubt your staff are feeling panicked right now.
About their health. Their families. Their jobs.
Strong leadership and clear communication are essential for combating the fear your staff may be feeling, and helping them keep well and productive.
It’s important to keep communication open so they know:
1. That you’re actively planning to get them to the other side of this pandemic.
Because life WILL go on.
Things may get worse before they get better. But they WILL bounce back eventually.
I’ve experienced enough challenges in my life, and interviewed enough people on The Comeback Game - our podcast that is specifically about getting through adversity and challenges… to know that you’ll be surprised at what opportunities will present themselves on the other side.
2. What happens if they get sick
Share with them your company’s position on the virus. What policies have you created? What advice are you following?
And what happens if they fall ill? They need to know what support you will be providing (and also what you will not provide - don’t give them false reassurance that ‘everything will be fine’ if it won’t).
Let them know what measures they can take to protect themselves. Where the hand sanitisers are. How the premises will be cleaned. Be proactive in helping them stay well.
3. What the company is doing to protect their jobs
You’re fighting large amounts of panic-inducing information from news outlets and social media. Your staff are probably overwhelmed with all the bogus claims, contradictory advice, and flat out rubbish that’s circulating out there.
Part of your leadership strategy is to let them know what you are doing to protect their jobs. They need to know that there is a plan.
Share with them calm and consistent messaging at least weekly. More frequently if you can.
- Train them to look for the good
Stress lowers the immune system, which puts them at even more risk of catching something. Even if it’s just the common cold or flu - that can still put them out of action.
Help them look for the good things that are happening in your business, and in their lives right now. It could be something as small as a customer saying ‘thank you’. It could be a kind gesture from a co-worker.
Bring it up in meetings. Post in on your online messaging channels.
Bring some light into these dark times.
Because it’s only doom and gloom if that’s all you choose to see.
Now, in saying that I don’t mean to minimise anyone’s current hardship.
I know many of you are doing it tough.
But I also know that while we cannot control things that happen to us, we can control how we respond, and what we make them mean.
Show your team that you are planning and trying to protect their jobs and their health.
And if you’re facing a short-term closure to ride this thing out, let them know that as well.
So THEY can plan what they’re going to do.
Just let them know where they stand.
A little communication from the heart goes a long way.
And if you need help planning your strategy to weather this storm, we’re here to help.
I’ve opened my coaching team’s calendars for FREE Game Plan strategy sessions over the coming weeks. On these sessions we deep dive into your business, uncover opportunities you may have overlooked, and make a plan to get through this crisis in the best shape possible.