Written By: Tim Cozier, Managing Director, Client Services
Enabling your employee’s success is difficult enough without a global pandemic looming over us.
Here’s what I’ve learned about managing employees during the COVID era:
1) Seek understanding, acknowledge issues
COVID forced your employees into unique situations at work and at home.
If they are having trouble with a concept, technology, or in their personal life, do not get frustrated or rush to judgement. Nurture them. Make sure they feel heard. Then, if applicable, work with them to remove the obstacles.
2) Encourage Empathy
“Be kind, for everyone you meet may be fighting a hard battle.”
You may find that some interactions between your employees are tense. Ask your team members to slow down and to put themselves in each other’s shoes. Encourage phone and video conversations as tone through text and emails can be ambiguous.
3) Set clear expectations
Put a hand up if your annual budget went out the window by the end of April! That aside, an employee with no goal is unproductive. Work with your staff to create objectives that they accept as reasonable and mandatory.
In a volatile environment, leadership must increase its presence. For example, leaders worldwide have been giving their countries updates on a daily basis. Set and stick to a schedule whereby you can address your employee’s performance. Make adjustments or give praise where applicable.
5) Make time for mental health
As a leader, you are likely a great listener. That said, you may not be equipped to handle the mental health issues that can arise in a situation as a result of the COVID pandemic. Familiarize yourself with your company’s employee assistance or mental health programs. Prepare yourself to connect your staff with the appropriate support network.
6) Know when enough is enough
Some employees will use the changing environment to take advantage of you or the company. They may not even be aware of it. Constant conflict is a distraction and will impact your own mental health and productivity over the long-term. Identify when this is happening. Trust your gut and take steps to remedy your employee’s behaviour.
Tim Cozier is the Managing Director of Pro Count Staffing, Lannick’s finance and accounting professional recruitment division focusing on junior-to-intermediate roles on a temporary and full-time basis. Tim Cozier has been designated by Staffing Industry Analysts’ Top 40 Under 40 and is based at the company’s headquarters in Toronto.