Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 will the be most challenging time for most people in their professional lives, and as such it can be easy to get caught in the hysteria, stress and uncertainty of these times.
We have compiled our 5 “b’s” of how best to manage during this tough time.
1. Be Present
Many of our clients operate / manage their Pharmacies remotely, speaking with managers on a semi regular basis. If that is the case for you, now is the time to increase that level, and frequency, of communication. Technology such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, or even Facebook Messenger allows you to check in by video regularly to assure your remote team members know you are there for them. If you are active in your Pharmacy, do your best to make the time to sit with them and see how they’re feeling. Silence is not golden; and the less they hear from you, the more they may magnify the gravity of your business’ situation in their own mind, and how that translates to their own job security at this time.
2. Be Confident
This is not to suggest that you should bury your head in the sand, but you will see a huge positive effect on your staff if they see you as being confident in your ability to guide the business through this hectic time. Keep things positive, and further to the point above, make sure they are welcome to come and discuss concerns with you. If you can show that you are remaining positive about the long-term prospects of the business, they will tend to be buoyed by this, which will help both their performance and mental health.
There will no doubt be times where you become stressed about aspects of the business but do what you can to have those moments and discussions away from the ears of your staff.
3. Be Understanding
While you need to ensure that business continues operating as close to normal as possible, do your best to be understanding and empathetic towards what your staff may be going through. Many of them may be trying to figure out how they organise home-schooling, they may have partners who have lost employment, not to mention the concern of vulnerable family members becoming ill.
While it may be tough to see many silver linings in this COVID-19 crisis, it WILL give you a chance to add a real positive injection into your culture by the way you handle staff empathetically and compassionately.
4. Be Generous
Whilst we understand the financial pressures imposed on a business during this time, do what you can to assist your staff financially. If you have access to cheap products / bulk buying, take advantage of this and pass it on to staff where you can. The value of a pre-paid card for the local supermarket could be worth it’s weight in gold to staff members and be returned to you 10-fold in loyalty, and flexibility from your team.
5. Be Self-aware
We all know the oxygen mask theory, but if you’re not looking after yourself, you can’t assist your team (or families and friends) effectively.
This will almost certainly be the toughest time most of us will go through professionally, and we all need to be doing what we can to look after ourselves. Connect with people outside your business and see how they’re going, which will give you a chance to discuss concerns of your own also.
Take some time out of your day to exercise, try to keep your normal routine as much as possible, and try to stay mindful of the things you have to grateful for.
Should you be struggling with anything at all, as always Beyond Blue are there to assist on www.beyondblue.org.au.