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Managing uncertainty through a pandemic: Top tips for business leaders

The effects of COVID 19 are far reaching and continue to affect the way in which businesses operate. Faced with so much uncertainty, businesses have been forced to adapt, almost overnight, to an ever-changing commercial landscape while remaining agile and resilient.

With continuing restrictions and changes, it’s hard to know what the rest of the year will bring, which makes business planning more complicated than ever. To help ease the load, we’ve compiled our top tips for managing uncertainty during a pandemic.

Focus on what you can control

While many of us believed 2021 would be a fresh start, there is still no clarity on when the pandemic will end and the frustrations felt at the start of the pandemic continue to be felt today. 

With the majority of Australia currently in lockdown, one of the best ways to help your team through these unprecedented times is by focusing on what you can control and adopting a positive, can-do attitude.

This might include fostering a sense of inclusion, regularly checking in with your team and giving staff realistic workloads given many are juggling the demands of work with homeschooling their children. 

Empathy and clear communication

During a pandemic when the majority of staff are working remotely, it’s important to maintain that human connection with your employees by showing empathy and leading from the heart. 

Although you might have to make difficult decisions as a result of managing a remote workforce and ever changing restrictions, it’s imperative that you maintain clear and consistent communication so that everyone is on the same page. 

Just as it’s important to be transparent in your communication, it’s essential to take the time to listen and show compassion to your employees and their circumstances. This allows them to feel supported and helps to build and establish trust with your team while fostering a sense of inclusion.

Prioritise wellbeing

This pandemic has not only separated people from the workplace but also from their colleagues and daily routines leaving them feeling disconnected from each other and their company.

Now is the time to make a special effort to engage and connect with your staff and show them that you care by prioritising their personal wellbeing over company profits. 

This might involve offering paid leave for staff to attend COVID testing and vaccination appointments, making yourself readily available, showing a genuine interest in how your team is going and offering support when they need it. 

Embrace the online workforce

If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that we’ve never been more connected. And with never-ending lockdowns the new normal, the way in which we work has been revolutionised. 

In order to maintain productivity, it’s essential to establish digital initiatives that allow employees to work seamlessly from home. This might require some initial capital and set-up but will ensure the level of productivity remains even whilst working from home.  

Establishing robust digital systems will help ensure accurate reporting, informed decision-making and take pressure off your staff as they continue to work from home. It could also include providing remote training and support for staff to help them adapt to the new online systems and processes.

For more advice on managing uncertainty during a pandemic, talk to our experienced team who can also provide insight and support on the NSW and Federal government incentives currently available to businesses impacted by the current COVID 19 restrictions and stay at home orders. 

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