Leaders show their true colors in unprecedented situations. As companies around the world struggle to deal with the biggest global health crisis of the century, leaders are rising to the occasion keeping team morale high, ensuring the safety and health of employees, providing guidance and support, and making difficult but important decisions. This is what strong leadership looks like in an emergency. Below are some of the ways you can rise to the challenge and provide strong leadership during a crisis.
Be Quick and Decisive
Leaders don’t have the luxury of indecision when the world is in the middle of a health crisis. The situation changes daily, so leaders need to react to these changes promptly. As new information is made public, leaders need to be able to make sense of the information and confidently make decisions that are in the best interest of the company and its employees. This isn’t easy because in times of uncertainty information isn’t always complete or accurate. Plus, your anxiety is likely higher than usual. It helps to continuously examine and identify the top needs of your company and identify obstacles. Once you understand what you need to succeed in the short- and long-term, it will become easier to make quick decisions.
Understand How Employees Are Feeling
Your employees likely feel anxious and afraid right now. But it is a good idea to ask your employees how they’re feeling so you have an accurate understanding of their mental state. As a leader, your job is to understand what your employees are going through and do everything you can to ease their worries by being transparent with them, and providing them with the resources they need to work from home successfully. Reassure them that you will work with them to overcome obstacles and solve problems related to COVID-19.
Keep Employees Engaged
You have to understand that your employees are working in completely different environments. They likely have more distractions and more responsibilities. This will make it harder for them to stay engaged as they work. They are also interacting less with colleagues, which can also affect engagement. You should make a point to contact your employees regularly and pay extra attention to communicating goals and priorities. Video calls can help employees feel less isolated and more connected to the team. You also should take the time to highlight positives, such as the successes of your employees or other achievements. This will help keep spirits high.
We’re experiencing a health crisis unlike any of us has ever witnessed before. While COVID-19 poses many challenges to companies around the world, this is a chance to show your team you have the ability to lead with strength and courage.
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