Most people around the world thought the COVID-19 pandemic was going to end in a few months. But one by one, companies, regardless of size, started laying off people from their teams. Some businesses had no choice but to close down. With all that is happening, even employees who are still with their current companies are suffering from anxiety and stress, worrying whether they will still have a job tomorrow or not.
According to a global study, 70% of workers are more stressed and anxious than before. The work-life balance has been severely impacted by the current workplace setup. Aside from this, social interactions have become less frequent, which made reaching out even more challenging despite the advanced technology.
These factors contribute to how your team manages their tasks effectively. As a leader, how do you ensure that responsibilities are taken care of while keeping your team happy? We list down some of the things that may help.
- Keep Your Personal Mental Health In Check
Handling a team is more stressful than being in one. You are mostly accountable for what the team does, how they perform, and the quality of the outputs. As a leader, you have to be warier of your emotional intelligence to ensure that you know how to manage your mental health.
You have to maintain positivity within the team without resorting to “toxic positivity.” Toxic positivity disregards the emotional and mental needs of your teammates. It just focuses on staying positive. It completely misses the feelings and emotions of other people in a particular situation.
As a leader, you need to be sure that your mental health is stable to avoid this. A healthy and sufficient emotional quotient will enable you to listen and attend to your team’s needs.
It will also help open up a bit more to them and show a specific vulnerability. Doing so will increase trust and honesty that will promote open communication within the team. Your teammates or the members of your organization may also learn new insights on coping strategies from you.
- Treat Emotional Issues The Same Way As Physical Issues
Sick leaves often equate to physical illness alone. These off days are most often used when employees are down due to having cough, colds, feverishness, etc. Some still get uncomfortable and hesitant, asking for an off day because of the emotional weight they carry.
As leaders, you have to be empathetic towards your group, especially during this pandemic. Work-induced strain has dramatically increased because we do not have something to look forward to, such as vacations, catching up with friends, weekend getaways, and the like.
Emotional and mental health should bear the same weight as physical health.
The leader’s responsibility nowadays is geared towards the business’s success. It is also ensuring that you can impact the well-being of the people that you handle.
- Help Your Team Be “Emotionally Literate”
Emotional literacy is the same as learning how to read and write. It knows how to ascertain when you have a healthy mental state or not. However, being emotionally literate is not something that was taught to us in school. It is something that we still need to develop and learn as time goes by.
As a leader, one of the best ways to support your team is by knowing and understanding how to regulate your emotions. When a leader is capable of doing so, the flock will follow. The best way to showcase this to your team is by leading by example.
Understand that emotional literacy is not something that they can go through alone. Sometimes, an employee’s true potential is unleashed when they feel that their emotions and mental well-being are valid and genuinely cared for.
It may also be the time to get to know the members of your team better. You may use this to unleash their creativity and find out if they have other skills to contribute to the organization. Emotional literacy is a two-way street and helps your organization establish a healthier workspace throughout this digital era.
The pandemic is not something that we were ready for. There were no handbooks nor preparations on how it should be handled. It has dramatically impacted the economy. It has created the loss of businesses and the loss of lives that adversely affected our mental well-being as workers and ordinary people living our day-to-day lives.
However, this pandemic has also shown us that mental health should no longer be a taboo topic. It is something that we should recognize, and that the workplace should pioneer a human-centered leadership.
Leaders need to keep in mind that discussion and communication regarding mental health should be promoted in the workplace. Mental health and emotional well-being should also be included as a leadership skill to function effectively and to be able to fully support everyone on the team.