The coronavirus pandemic has placed extraordinary demands on leaders in business and beyond. The humanitarian toll taken by COVID-19 creates fear among employees and other stakeholders. An unexpected event or sequence of events of enormous scale and overwhelming speed, resulting in a high degree of uncertainty that gives rise to disorientation, a feeling of lost control, and strong emotional disturbance.

The number of cases change by the hour; the official responses range from dismal to destructive to thank goodness; and businesses are crafting messages about staying safe. Everyone signs off with “Now go wash your hands,” friendly but insistent. We’re all in this together, but if we don’t all do the right thing it could be even more catastrophic than it already is.

Here’s a quick list of five things able to help lead your organization through this challenging period:

Deal With The Skeptics

Every organization has them — the fatalist, the conspiracy theorist, the reckless nonconformist, the deadlines-over-all managers. This is a symptom of work culture. Should take note on how cohesive the organization will be during this crisis. However, for now, need to get everyone on board.

There are countless sources for busting myths with critical information. The more information you can put in front of people, the better. If your discussion of social distancing and 20-second handwashing techniques does not work, declare these non-negotiable: if you cannot follow this rule to protect this workforce, then perhaps you should not be in it.

Don’t Reinvent The Wheel

A number of rehashed infographics on workplace safety. Do not use them. One sure way to perpetuate uncertainty is to use unofficial versions of official information. It may seem a way to put your own brand stamp on the material, but this is not the time — and no one needs to rebrand a global pandemic.

If you are looking for clear directions and explanations, use those created by the experts. If you want an additional resource to the CDC, consult Johns Hopkins or Harvard. Follow the science — without interpretations or repackaging. This is one time innovating on an existing strategy is not appropriate.


Offer Certainty

This is a time of tremendous uncertainty: we don’t know who will get sick but we know many will. We don’t know when but we know it can take days to show symptoms. We don’t know where but many known cases across the globe, and given the trajectories we’ve seen so far, we need to prepare for skyrocketing numbers.


Couple that with employment anxiety: Many on the workforce don’t know if they will be laid off, furloughed with pay or without pay, have to take a leave to take care of loved ones, or any other scenario. This is the time to be certain and clear in communicating your organization’s plans. Be transparent and forthcoming. Your initial response and your game plan set the course for how your organization is going to weather this. Make it count.


Think Ahead

We’re seeing some industries brought to their knees — hospitality, retail, and the airlines among them, and by the time you read this, it will undoubtedly increase. These are hard choices, to be sure. But what can you do to protect your workforce instead of dispense with them? Starbuck for instance, is expanding its paid leave policy and providing catastrophe pay for employees, whether or not they show any symptoms, for up to 14 days. Every company should be taking a close look at your PTO policies. And no business should be ignoring this issue.


If your workers are hourly, or independent contractors, they will likely take a tremendous hit if they need to self-quarantine or take a leave to care for loved ones. Will they have their gig with you when they return? Bringing this up not only because it is ethically better to do the right thing, but because it may be better for your business as well. The perpetual habit of social sharing is not going away during this time of crisis — it is even providing us with bright spots now — like the quarantined Italians singing from their windows. We all bear witnesses to each other’s experiences. How you treat your employees now will reverberate with job seekers in the future. It will be out there, for anyone to find out, and it will make a difference. If you want to hire great people you need to demonstrate how much you value them, even (and especially) during bad times.


However You Can, Evolve

It’s time to evolve into the tools to keep working. Now is the time to take that bold step and do it. Right now, remote and flexible working — enabled, connected, and empowered by digital workspaces — may be a literal lifesaver. No longer a question of making a business case: it may be the only way to achieve any continuity for your business.


If you’ve been considering a shift to remote, do it. Take the leap and jump into it. Get the training you need and set up the structure. Retrofit the workplace to keep them a safe distance apart, and practice every precaution laid out by the CDC.


We’re going to see changes we can’t even imagine in the coming months, and it’s going to be terrifying. Hopefully the measures we take now will help us save ourselves, our businesses, and each other. There may be a silver lining in it. This is not trying to discount the unprecedented gravity and complexity of what is happening now. 

 source: https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50705008/in-search-of-crisis-leadership-in-coping-with-virus/

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