Even in the best of times, change is hard. And it’s pretty clear that we’re not in the best of times right now. Many of us feel unsettled for any number of reasons, and we’ve lost our calm, quiet spaces.
If you used to get stressed at the office, home was a place where you could get your head on straight. Or if your home life was hectic, the office was orderly and a place to breathe. But for the past three months, everything has been in flux. If you’re lucky enough to be safe right now, you probably don’t feel settled or secure in the way that you used to.
So whether you’re an essential worker forced to work in less-than-ideal conditions or part of the third of the workforce who now works remotely, you’re probably feeling stuck. And as we all navigate the process of working while staying safe from COVID, it falls to leaders to keep these outstanding issues at the forefront of their minds.
As you work with your team, bear in mind that they’ve been going through some version of your stressors as well. Nobody is at their best right now. For many of us, going back to “normal” could be months away, if it’s even possible.
There has never been a better time to have some open, frank conversations with your employees about what they’re feeling. I’m not the most touchy-feely guy, but as a leader, I need to know where my employees’ heads are at, what they’re seeing, and what they need to do their jobs in an impossible situation.
And like it or not, leaders, bosses, executives, managers—all of us have to operate differently. A lot of people are on edge right now, and little things can tip over people who are normally very stable. And that includes you. So listen to what your employees are telling you, take some deep breaths, and start sorting out what has to happen vs what should happen as you lead your team through this. Focus on what needs to be done and give everyone some space on what “should” be done in ideal circumstances.
Remember, the more you can stabilize your team, the more you’re stabilizing your business.