HR Analytics

4 Signs to Instantly Identify a Great Leader During Crisis

When people are scared, anxious and stressed in a crisis, great leaders show up with fortitude and heart


The coronavirus crisis has sent millions of people home, some to work remotely for the first time while others ride out the storm without any work. 

As more businesses are put on social restriction to curb the spread of the virus, many executives are coming up with creative ways for their companies to remotely stay connected and productive, while minimizing the stress and anxiety of their workforce.

To support your people in a time of fear and uncertainty and keep their hearts and minds engaged in their work, leaders must act with both fortitude and heart. Here are four otherwise counterintuitive habits to put into action right now.

1. Give employees flexibility

Now that circumstances call us to be at home with our families while we work, encourage your people, first and foremost, to make their loved ones a top priority. Encourage parents to spend enough time with their children; advocate on their behalf for a healthy work-life blend so that they are getting the hours they need to balance their family priorities. Doing so will help them recharge and reengage their work with more energy and focus.

2. Keep your employees’ state of mind at the forefront of meetings

Things can shift daily for your employees in a time of crisis. When conducting your virtual check-ins and meetings, don’t start with business as usual. Give each person permission and the freedom to air things out. Ask each one to check in on their personal lives first. Two simple questions can be used to feel the temperature of your team members: 

  • What’s your current situation, and how are you feeling about it?
  • What are you currently doing to sustain yourself? What do you need? What else can we do for each other?

“Right now, our survival emotions are out on display. As leaders, we must be able to meet people where they are and be willing to show compassionate understanding as employees figure out how to navigate these uncharted territories,” says Nichole Kelly, VP Marketing at Windward Consulting.

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