How to Lead Your Staff During the Coronavirus Crisis

COVID-19 has infected hundreds of thousands of people around the world and brought society nearly to a standstill. To make matters worse, there’s a lot we don’t know about the virus, leaving decisionmakers hamstrung. 

Company leaders don’t have the luxury of waiting around to see how everything will play out. They must make difficult decisions based on limited information. Below are a few suggestions on how you can lead your people under such difficult circumstances. 

Prioritize Honesty 

It seems like the truth is always under threat, as social media has allowed for the exponential spread of misinformation and misrepresentation. This sad reality only serves to increase panic and poor decisions. 

What your employees need is a leader who gives them a bedrock of truth. If your business is struggling to cope with the pandemic, communicate that reality and share what you’re doing to address it. People don’t need to be babied with platitude and half-truthsGive them the truth and you will project trustworthiness and competency 

Be Empathetic 

A good leader will focus on the individuals who count on them to make good decisions. They will evaluate the needs of other people and think about their experience. While hard choices have to be made right now, a great leader will peer at the current situation through the prism of empathy. 

Being empathetic can also help you communicate efficiently. When people feel afraid, empathy helps you connect with them rather than being defensive about not having all the answers. 

Embrace Humility 

In our culture, a great leader is a strong person who achieves success by themselves. However, no one achieves success without the support of others. 

A great business leader acknowledges that they need help and support. He or she looks for input from employees and takes advice from experts on how to navigate during times of crisis. 

Don’t forget: A business is a collection of people who must work together to achieve shared objectives. When something like COVID-19 threatens the group, the collective should respond as a group. Ask your team for input, but also sacrifices they understand are in everyone’s interest. Involve them in the process and give them the sense of control they crave. 

Take Charge 

While a subpar leader will cover up missteps or pin the blame on others when things go wrong, a top leader will own up to mistakes and make choices based on what’s best, not their own ego. Best leaders take complete ownership of their position and the responsibility it entails. 

Taking charge does not necessarily mean being invincible or always being right. It means a willingness to confront issues based on skill and experience, not personal interest. A leader who takes charge is willing to accept the consequences of their choices. 

We Can Help You Now and Moving Forward 

While staffing decisions are currently difficult, better days are ahead. Nationwide can help your company flex its workforce as needed for today and the days ahead. Please contact us to get started on navigating the path forward. 


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