by John Sadowski, ALMA Executive Director
A crisis can have a tremendous impact on the performance of a team and individuals both during the crisis and afterward. How you as a manager perform during the crisis defines your character as a leader and can determine whether or not the organization emerges from the crisis stronger or weaker. Below are some tips on maintaining team spirit and addressing individual issues during the COVID-19 crisis.
Maintain team spirit during the COVID-19 while the team’s work schedule is split into shifts and some people are working at home.
- Hold periodic whole team meetings via video or audio conferences.
- Keep the team updated on the impact of their work on the big picture.
- Keep everyone informed on the company / organization position on the crisis.
- Make the team part of the solution on how to work through the crisis
- Let them know you seek help
- Solicit their ideas
- Promote collaborative efforts so that people do not feel isolated.
- Share stories of team members backing up each other.
- Continue to celebrate successes
- Do some fun activities – they can help a lot in times like this
- Contest on funniest or most original at home work station.
- Most original face mask
- Most people are eating more home cooked meals – build a recipe book of your lab’s favorites
- Create a picture gallery of people’s fun activities
- Organize a team activity helping out others
- Group contribution to a food bank
- Collect and donate masks made by team members
Recognize that the crisis will have different impacts on people in your organization influencing how they interact and perform.
- Employees in the more vulnerable age group may feel more at risk and be more reluctant to work in the same room as others.
- Some employees may consider it unfair that they have to come to work while others can work at home.
- Be open to ideas on how an employee can do all or part of his or her work at home.
- Explain how the decision on who works at home and who cannot is made.
- There may be an increased fear of job loss.
- Keep people informed on the current company situation.
- Seek out the isolated
- Look for people who aren’t participating
- Anticipate those who may be struggling with remote work and get them help or training.
- Show compassion
- Talk about the challenges and the struggles
- Enable people to voice concerns
- provide reassurance
- Show your staff that their concerns don’t stop at your door – get detailed answers where needed and provide to all.