How to Strengthen Your Work Team in the COVID-19 Era

COVID-19 Continues to Disrupt Work and Personal Lives

If you are like most leaders, there’s no course, preparedness plan, or seminar that could have fully prepared you for the current business environment. COVID-19, the fight for racial equality and social justice and the prolonged disruption have left most employees feeling less prepared and informed according to a recent Gallup Panel survey (comparing May and June 2020 data).

During the first few months of the pandemic, leaders actively communicated as they took action to protect employees, customers, and secure the business’ future. Leaders checked in on employees to make sure they were safe, engaged, and informed.

But today, the survey data shows employee engagement and information sharing have slipped dramatically. Employees are still looking to their leadership for communication and direction as COVID-19 challenges continue to disrupt their work and personal lives.


Strengthen Your Business Team Performance During the Coronavirus Era, Women office wearing masks

10 Things You Can Do to Strengthen Your Business Team Performance During the Coronavirus Era

  1. Restart efforts to ensure all employees are well prepared and informed of plans (especially constantly changing policies and plans to re-open or pause plans to re-open)
  2. Plan extra efforts to consistently and clearly communicate with employees who are younger, frontline, blue-collar, and/or on-site.
    • The Gallup data show that they are more vulnerable to disengagement and performance setbacks than older, white-collar, remote-working employees
  3. Invest in employees who are younger, frontline, blue-collar and/or on-site to ensure they are prepared to meet the challenges they face
  4. Implement a plan to support your managers’ well-being and work/life balance.
    • The most recent survey shows managers are losing confidence in their leadership.
    • Additionally, they have worse work-life balance than in the prior month.
    • Taking time to improve managers yields powerful business returns as engaged managers motivate and accelerate business results
  5. Frequently clarify the organization’s mission and direction to help managers establish priorities.
  6. Relate to the pressures and responsibilities managers feel as team leaders.
    • Your firsthand experience and listening can offer support to their employees.
  7. Hold managers accountable for two-way communication with their teams.
    • Ongoing dialogue drives performance because it demonstrates to employees that leaders care. The best managers provide consistent, meaningful feedback, ask questions, and value employees’ opinions.
  8. Communicate like you never have before.
    • Leaders can build trust by affirming their commitment to doing what’s right and making decisions, business strategies, and taking action that reflects that.
  9. Demonstrate understanding and empathy.
    • Leaders who can demonstrate you care about employees by seeing them as real people.
    • Ask questions, listen actively, and focus on how you can develop and support each individual.
  10. Show you authentically care for your people as real people.
    • Leaders cannot solve every problem or answer every question, but they can always show they care.
    • When this is done well, you can create an emotionally connected workplace with resilient and innovative employees.

 


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