The pandemic that hit the whole world caught everyone off-guard. Many businesses were severely affected financially, which caused them to put some employees on unpaid leave or even have to let them go. Other companies needed to make drastic changes, such as cutting workdays or cutting down on operations. As an employee, whether you are reporting on-site or working remotely, the rapid changes that happened may have caused anxieties and stress. Indeed everyone felt the effect of all that happened on their well-being, even the leaders themselves.
Since this pandemic is far from over, it is crucial to make sure that you can take care of yourself and your team. Here are some tips to support yourself and your team as you navigate these challenging times.
Have a regular touchpoint with your team
Ensure that you create a regular touchpoint schedule with your team, primarily if they are working from home. You may opt for a short, daily scheduled touchpoint every day before the team starts their day.
Through this, you connect with them to know how they are doing and what concerns they need to be addressed. When your team members share their thoughts, ideas, and situations with you during touchpoints, appreciate it and thank them. Practice active listening and empathy too.
With all the uncertainties happening in organizations, it is easy for employees to come up with assumptions if they do not know what is going on. Avoid this scenario by communicating with your team clearly and frequently. Update them on what is happening with the company, ask them if they have questions, and answer those truthfully. This simple tip will create an atmosphere of trust among the group. It can also help your team members to feel comfortable amidst the volatile environment.
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Your influence as a leader is a powerful tool- support your team by spreading optimism and positivity instead of adding up to the stress that everyone is feeling. Share your hope that all will be well, even amidst all the negative things that are happening in the work environment. Provide a strong support system to each other so that you can lift up anyone who feels down. Through this, you improve your and your team’s mental health and wellbeing.
Acknowledge and reward your team
Acknowledge and reward your team for their hard work and dedication. This advice is a sure way to keep them energized at work. Rewarding people is not limited to money. You can acknowledge someone for their efforts and good work by recognizing the person during meetings. You can even be creative on how to reward them, so it pays that you know your team well. As a team leader, you should know what they will appreciate to reward them effectively.
It is easy for employees to overwork now because of the demands to keep the company afloat, especially for employees working from home. Respect boundaries by making sure not to call or message after work hours unless urgently needed. If the situation calls that you reach out to them, apologize as you take a few minutes of their precious personal time.
Share best practices
Casually sharing remote work hacks can boost engagement. Why not create an opportunity where team members can share best practices of staying motivated at work. It should be easy for everyone since they all face challenges and have their ways of pushing themselves to give their best at work. What works for them may work for others too. You can have this group sharing over an online wine or pizza party.
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Develop their skills
Another way to support your team is by developing their skills, primarily if they are assigned a new role or task. You may develop their skills in various techniques like coaching, shadowing, providing them with training, or giving a job buddy, or creating opportunities where they can try out a new task. Do not let your team members sink or swim. As a leader, you should set them up for success.
Build relationships with your staff
Do not just think of your team members as people who will be doing the job. Build rapport, connect, and build relationships with them too. Developing friendly relationships with colleagues and team members can make employees feel happier. Good relationships with the people you work with can even boost innovation and creativity in the workplace! It is also a good way to improve mental health at work.
Advocate work-life balance
Most employees work for a minimum of eight hours a day, sometimes even longer. Do not let your team members get dull by just doing work all the time- they need to be refreshed too! As leaders, advocate positive work-life balance with your team to avoid burnout and push retention and engagement. Let your staff use their leave if you can be sure that no pending work will be left. Employers must process PTO so employees have time to refresh. You’ll get to see that once your team members have time off, they will come back more enthusiastic.
Take care of yourself too
Lastly, as leaders, you need to take care of yourselves too! As they say, you cannot pour from an empty vessel. Make sure you protect your own well-being so that you can support other people effectively too. Have a solid support system, stay healthy, and see the more profound meaning of everything you are doing for your team and the organization.
More than ever, we need each other to stay strong as we face each day’s hurdles. As a leader, make sure that you support your team members well, and they will undoubtedly back you up as well.
About Author: Katreena is a scientist and a life hack specialist. She's authored scientific journals on biotechnology and molecular biology. To take a break from scientific journals, she puts her mind into writing about lifestyle, health, and sustainability. She strongly believes that kindness makes the world go round.!