When the Going Gets Tough

Shawnee Love   •   March 13, 2020

This blog is a call to all leaders. If you supervise or manage people, you have been deputized.

Your people need you. They need to know:

  • You care about them.
  • The sky is not falling.
  • You have a plan or even if you don’t, that you are working on one and will keep them in the loop.
  • You are a trusted source of intelligence.

Because we don’t need panic, we need leaders to step up and use their leadership influence to bring calm and reason back.

Here’s what you can do now to help your employees (and yourself) respond constructively to the current world events:

  1. Be visible and show you care. Get out there and talk to your people. Listen to their stories and fears.  You don’t have to solve their problems, just hearing them helps.
  2. Be a trusted resource. Do your homework, get the facts and communicate them effectively, i.e., ensuring what you mean is what is understood.  Check out your provincial or territorial health authority for information, and the Government of Canada website (Canada.ca). While social media can be great for quickly getting the word out, unreliable sources abound on sites like facebook, twitter, etc. There are people who benefit greatly when people panic, don’t feed the frenzy.
  3. Share what employees can do to be safe, healthy and resilient. People need reminders when they get stressed, so even the basics are helpful.  E.g., wash your hands; speak with a counsellor; visit your employee assistance plan website or other reliable websites/ apps (e.g., https://www.workplacestrategiesformentalhealth.com/); limit social media; sleep, eat and exercise well; stay connected with family and friends. Don’t forget to practice these yourself.

Leaders: This is your time to shine.  Please comment with your suggestions for how to lead during this and any other challenging situations!

And if you need a helping hand yourself or any other culture, HR or talent questions, we have your back.