With so much uncertainty spreading through every family, business, and neighborhood in the country, I wanted to take a moment to offer words of encouragement for anyone leading a team during this time. 

Right now, your employees are worried about their jobs and keeping food on their plates. They’re scared for their lives and the lives of those they love. Every day, they are facing this disheartening spread of COVID-19 and doing their best to adjust to a new reality. 

These unprecedented times call for unprecedented actions from leadership. Here are five ways to ease the panic and keep team morale as high as possible during the coronavirus outbreak.

Turn on Your Camera for Video Conferencing
Video conferencing technology is a no brainer right now, right? It seems like everyone is using Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams to stay connected. 

The key is to ask everyone to turn on their cameras for remote meetings. Nonverbal communication is crucial for building and maintaining relationships from afar. It’s one thing to hear a person’s voice—it’s another thing to watch them smile, laugh, and engage. 

At 3Ci, we have a quick 20-minute virtual meeting every day to help us stay connected and see and hear from everyone.

Stay Focused on the Positive
Fear is a natural response to this situation. Keeping a positive mindset can go a long way in managing this crisis. That’s why we start every meeting with a “Positive Focus.” Each member of our team shares a “win” or achievement since the last meeting. It doesn’t need to be work-related. Some share “wins” from work, and others share “wins” from their personal lives:

“We closed the deal with that company.”
“My daughter took her first steps today.” 
“I’ve run three miles every day since our last meeting.”

Starting with a positive focus gets everyone in the right mindset for a productive meeting.

Continue to Celebrate Your People
Most people are more motivated by positive recognition than compensation or incentives. We give out a “Hard Hat Award” twice a week to a team member who has gone above and beyond. 

We’ve also implemented weekly contests for our teams. It’s been great to see them pushing and encouraging each other to hit their goals.  It’s helped the team stay positive and self-manage.

A lot of contests don’t work if the contest is top-down from the boss. Let your teams set their own contest goals and watch as they support each other every day to meet them.

Make Communication a Priority
As the president of 3Ci, It is my responsibility to drive the company’s mission and lead its team through a time of crisis. That means keeping our employees and contractors informed through regular communication. Whether that means sharing tips on how to stay safe or giving our team access to remote work resources, every communication is intentional.

Start a Prayer Group
It’s not for everyone, and that’s fine! It’s optional. At 3Ci, anyone who wants to participate meets once a week to share prayer “concerns” and “praises.” I find that praying together as a team can be pretty powerful.  

Here’s the good news—we’ve been through hard times before. If your business was around in 2001 or 2008, you know what is required right now. It’s time to come together (from a distance, of course), get creative, and adapt quickly. 

3Ci is a technology staffing and consulting company that’s been around for more than 42 years. If you’re looking for a partner that can weather this storm with you, reach out. I’d love to hear about the unique challenges your company is facing during this time and start a conversation.

Keep putting people first. Stay safe.