How to Survive a Pandemic: Tips for Managers in the Era of COVID-19

by | Mar 20, 2020 | COVID-19

Remote work: Hopefully, by now, we have all (except for ‘essential workers’ and healthcare professionals) transitioned to a virtual work environment. This should be a given by this point so I won’t spend any more time on it.

Managers – make sure your team is adequately equipped—not just technically, but emotionally as well. Support them in learning tools you might start using and set ground rules to enhance your communication, but don’t forget the social interaction you all enjoyed as a team while physically working together! For example, have video calls with the camera on; do a ‘remote lunch’ where you meet over the lunch hour, have ‘after-work’ drinks with your fellow-managers (this applies to executives, too). These things are particularly important while our society engages in physical distancing measures, keeping in mind of course, that this may last for at least until June 2020. Be empathetic as some of your employees might struggle with finding a quiet space at home (particularly if they don’t live alone and have young children). Remember to retain that ‘live’ face to face (albeit virtual) contact with your team members and colleagues.

Mental Health: It’s natural that some of your team members might get stressed over this situation (yourself included). Be there for them and let them know that we’ll all get through this together. Try to avoid negative words that imply emergency and danger and opt for a calmer tone. You can also encourage your team members to voice their concerns and feelings during a 1-to-1 video meeting — in short, do whatever it takes and whatever will help alleviate the feelings of isolation we are all experiencing right now. Your extroverted team members may be more affected by the physical / social distancing requirement; particularly if they live alone.

Evolving Situation: Be mindful of some of the inevitable changes your executives are currently working on; and please use this time to re-evaluate how you and your team are collaborating and how you can adapt to new working styles and evolving situations, as we will likely be here for some time.

Mostly, make sure you all stay safe and please reach out to your Human Resources Department with any questions or concerns you have.

“To lead people, walk behind them.” – Lao Tsu

Effie Tsergas

Founding Principal

Effie has been a champion of positive organizational behavior for over twenty-five years. She founded TSERGAS Human Capital 8 years ago. Aside from her “effervescent” personality and unwavering commitment to HR best practices, Effie is well-known for her work with some of the top legal firms in Canada. She assists clients across various industries with everything from targeted recruitment, strategic human resources planning, and growth and change management initiatives. With a wealth of experience in human resources, investigations, law, public relations, and marketing communications, Effie is a seasoned strategist with expertise you can bank on.