2020 was supposed to be the year of vision for your company. For many small business owners, the vision was supposed to clear the way for a bright future. Then COVID-19 hit. Small businesses were sidelined, some of them prevented from running. Small business owners were sent running for a playbook that didn’t exist. How do they survive in times like these? When the leader of an organization panics so does everyone else. You need to lead your employees in troubling times. How do you do that when you are looking for a leader yourself? 

Employees look to their leaders for comfort and direction. They are counting on you figuring things out; saving the day. Don’t we all want a hero we know will show up at the last minute? Since Superman doesn’t exist, it is incumbent on every leader to be a hero for him or her self. After all, you are the one in charge. Take charge of the situation you are in, no matter what the future looks like. How does a leader do that when things look so unsettling?

Lead Your Employees In Troubling Times With These Truths

Be Honest - You don’t know what the future holds, so don’t tell them you do. Your employees want to know what’s going on. Don’t just tell them what you think they want to hear. If you are not sure when things will go back to normal or whether or not there will be layoffs, tell them. Sooner or later the truth always comes out anyway. Being upfront with not so good news now will be better than looking like a liar later. Honesty is the best policy for a reason.

Come With A Plan - Even if your plan isn’t good, it looks better than saying, “I don’t know.” Having a plan right now that you might change later is still better than none. This means you’ll have to take some time to think about what your plan is going to be. If need be, reach out to some mentors in business for help. Even a good person to be a sounding board will help you weigh out the options. Lead your employees in troubling times with a path forward. They’ll feel a lot more confident in you do. 

Seek Help If You Need It - If you need direction on what to do with your business, make sure you seek help early and often. Chances are, some of the answers to your most burning questions are only a phone call away. Don’t be proud. No one expects you to know everything all the time no matter what degrees you hold. If you are in a pickle, let someone you trust know. They have to be able to connect you to people and resources who can help. SCORE is a fantastic organization for small business owners who are seeking direction. 

Let Them Speak. Then Listen - If you are scared about the future of your small business then you can be sure they are too. Many small business employees are just as emotionally invested in their employer’s businesses as they are. If they want to voice concerns, fears, and anxieties about the future then let them. Listen to what they have to say. Being able to lead your employees in troubling times means you have the fortitude to take feedback and concerns without making it personal. Let them feel safe about being real and you’ll find loyalty you never knew existed. 

Leading Your Employees Means Caring For Their Needs 

These unsettling times have brought much stress to your employees. Whether it’s uncertainty over the future or fear of financial insecurity, they suffer more than you know. Making sure your small business benefits include mental health benefits is a must-have these days. Employees need more than just yearly checkups and discounts. They need real benefits that will be there for them no matter what needs care. Shoddy benefits that don’t include mental health benefits and have high copays prevent care. 

You can offer your employees the kinds of benefits that will help them no matter what medical care is needed for probably less than you are paying now. Would you like to offer more benefits for less?

PEOs are great resources for small business owners. They provide the kind of HR services a small business needs in uncertain times. Great benefits are just one of the many resources available to a small business owner. You want to navigate your employees through the madness that is 2020. They want you to lead your employees in troubling times. Now you can in more ways than one. If you’d like to find out more about what a PEO can do for your small business, contact us today for a free consultation

If you’d like to find out more about how PEOs can help you provide great benefits and payroll management at less than you are paying now, contact us today for a free consultation.

Kristy St-Aubin

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