The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to implement unprecedented changes. These shifts can be difficult for leaders, but they can be especially trying for an organization’s employees. Here are some ways that you can support your teams through changes in this challenging time.
- Listen well
The first step to supporting employees through change is to be available and listen to their concerns. Some of your employees will express their concerns directly to you, while others may mask their worries or only talk to their peers.
Be sure to listen carefully to anyone who comes to you and try to understand their perspective. If appropriate, you can publicly address the concern. That way, others who may have the same thoughts (but aren’t saying anything) can still hear your response.
- Show genuine concern
Often, through organizational change, your employees will need to know that you genuinely care about their feelings. Leaders who express a “this is what’s happening, so deal with it” attitude risk alienating their teams. If you want employees who are engaged, productive, and loyal to your company, you need to be a leader who is worthy of that. Effective leadership starts with genuine concern for your employees’ well-being, especially during challenging times.
Remember that you’re dealing with human beings, and recognize that many of them are experiencing fear and anxiety over the pandemic and state of our country right now. Changes at work are bound to add additional stress, so be empathetic and show genuine concern.
- Demonstrate a positive outlook
Lastly, be sure to demonstrate a positive outlook at all times. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be honest with your team about what’s happening in your business. But do your best to find opportunities in the challenges and be optimistic. Try to keep everyone focused on what can be done rather than what can’t. This attitude defeats feelings of helplessness and will keep your team looking toward the future.
Also, don’t forget to express your gratitude to your employees frequently. Your genuine concern, positive attitude, and appreciation might be all your team needs to thrive through these difficult and ever-changing times.