How To Support Your Team During The Coronavirus Crisis

The Coronavirus has shown us how quickly businesses can be shut down. Government mandates can come quickly. They can effectively make your business grind to a halt. If you’re not prepared.

Once a government mandate comes to close your business, what do you do?

Team members gathered around a table

Photo by Annie Spratt

You’ve probably chosen to send your team home to work remotely during a crisis. They have their laptops, a VPN connection, and access to their emails.

You may think you’re done supporting your team through the crisis. You’d be wrong. You have to do so much more than provide tools to keep them working during a crisis.

How To Support Your Team During The Coronavirus Crisis

1. Provide tools for them to be able to work without interruption:

You’ve probably already done this step. You knew your team needed to work from home so you equipped them with laptops, VPN connections (such as the best VPN for Firefox), and email that can be accessed anywhere.

That’s great. That’s the first step and it ensures their connection to the office doesn’t stop.

Your team will be grateful to be able to access their documents and business continuity software. But leaders have to go further to support their teams during a crisis.

2. Be available for your team to connect with you:

Crises are difficult times for people. The Coronavirus has separated people from their work families. The separation has been an extended period of time.

This disconnects people from the people they spend the most time with. It also disconnects them from their leaders.

Leaders must be available during times of crisis. Whether the connection is through Zoom meetings, phone calls, or text messages, find ways to be available to your team.

3. Offer counseling services:

Your team is scared. They don’t know the status of their jobs. Incomes have been reduced. Jobs may have even be lost.

This not only creates a monetary need for your team, but it also creates an emotional need for your team. Their feelings are all over the place. They need someone to talk to.

This person will not be you or anyone that works at your organization. This person should be a trained counselor.

Find a way to offer legitimate counseling services to your team members. This could be by partnering with a professional counseling organization or by paying for counseling out of a benevolence fund the organization has set up.

4. Give them something to do:

When the business I work for shut down for 3 weeks, I began to go a little stir crazy. It was nice at first. I was able to get a lot of home projects completed that I had put off.

As the weeks went on, the projects became less and less. I began to wonder what to do next to be productive…

While we’re back in business now, it was a struggle. The loss of purpose and direction was felt. It sucked.

If you’re able to, find ways to get your people back to work as quickly as possible. This could be doing tasks that weren’t able to be completed during the busy uptime. Or they could be new projects to help your business succeed once the crisis has ended.

You can help your team members by giving them a purpose or mission during a crisis.

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