Even for the biggest introverts, lockdown isn't going to be everyone's cup of tea. In fact, lots of people are really going to stuggle.
Worries about finances and job security, lack of routine and freedom, family-feuds. There's plenty of reasons why people will find this difficult.
For you as a business owner, whilst it's relatively easy to focus on sorting your cashflow, speaking to suppliers and customers to say where your business stands, chatting with your bank manager; talking about mental health is still something which doesn't come naturally.
That's ok. It's not expected to.
What kind of boss do you want to be?
As a business owner, you have the opportunity to benefit when things go well. You get to make the profits. You get to have your comforts.
But as a business owner, you also have responsilibility. Not only to your family and your customers, but to your team.
Can you really be expected to profit in the good times, and abondon them when things get tough?
How long do you reckon they'll stick around?
Not very long, I imagine.
Having a great team around you is an immense privilege. It must never be seen as your right.
Forget your self-interests
No, this is not a time for crying about your own business situation and your own loss of profits & comforts.
Of course, you must be very aware of your finances, and they will have a huge impact on how you conduct your business over the next wee while; but you must also be aware of the wellbeing of your team.
Especially if you deserve to work with them going forward.
If your staff feel treated well when times are good, that will keep them happy in that moment. It's real, but it's fleeting.
But treat them well when times are shitty; that's going to create incredible trust and long term goodwill.
How do you begin?
It can be a simple phone call.
That's all it takes.
However, there's also a range of more techy options out there:
- Zoom/Skype/Facetime - these are just a few of the free options out there which allow you to have a face-to-face chat with your team. One to one, or as a group, there's a range of options available.
- WhatsApp - again, super easy to set up a group where you can all chat, send meme's, rip into one another, and generally keep a sense of team-bond, despite the social distancing.
- Old-school texting. They still work, and no longer cost 10p a go!
However you choose to reach out, the fact that you do will matter.
Ask them how they're doing. And then listen. Don't talk and bang on about your woes. Just listen.
Let's be clear though, you're not calling with the intention of fixing their problems. You're just listening.
And don't make it weird. Just sit back and shoot the shit with them like you normally would!
Stronger team. Stronger business
We're in a time of exceptional change. And through that, we have the chance to make exceptional changes.
Shared adversity has an incredible ability to bring folk together. Believe me, I've experienced it.
If you show your team the loyalty and care they deserve now, there's every chance they will come back to work raring to go, and ultimately your team and your business will come out of this stronger.
This is the chance to become the boss you know you must be.