The Role of an Employee in Crisis Management

July 23, 2020

Shana Auerbach, Vice President, Client Engagement Manager

 The COVID-19 pandemic has most likely changed the way you work. Fear and anxiety about this disease can be overwhelming. Workplace stress and uncertainty can also affect your overall well-being. For many, the required change of behavior to “social distancing” became a euphemism for “physical/social isolation” which leads to its own stress factors and impacts the collaborative cultures that companies have worked hard to build.

Focus on your health & wellness

Coping with stress during times of crisis (and change overall) can impact your well-being as well as that of those around you, including your work community. Managing your experience and reminding yourself of your responsibility as an employee is important to help encourage professional and personal growth through a time of crisis.

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Employees can identify friends, coworkers or supervisors that they feel comfortable communicating with about stress and overall concerns; Try to make it productive -- Identify things that cause stress and work together to identify solutions. Take the time to assess your levels of comfort and do some introspection to assess what would be helpful for you with the resources that you have available (of course seek medical attention when necessary). You can also increase your sense of control by developing a consistent daily routine when possible — ideally one that is similar to your schedule before the pandemic. For example:

Consistent, open and inclusive communication channels

If you’re a manager, communicate early and often about the impacts of the crisis to your business and the expectations for employees during this period; and, increase feedback channels for employees who have concerns and questions. Leadership traits such as: empathy, transparency and trust are even more important during a time of crisis. With most teams working remotely, it is more important to stay engaged regularly and consistently with your team- set up a schedule of communication that is consistent, inclusive and open. Also, schedule time for one-on-one informal connections. Keep in mind that an investment in employees during times of crisis, can provide high returns- ensuing loyalty, commitment and dedication that can help set your business up for a quick and successful return.

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