Today, we are going through uncertain times with the COVID-19 outbreak, and everything about our personal and work life has changed dramatically. These are some of the most challenging times that the world has ever witnessed, and it will be long before the world fully recovers from the biggest crisis of the century.
The ripple effects, and the social and economic impact will be far-reaching and long term. However, unanimity and mutually-shared responsibility are crucial in the slow return to normalcy, especially for startups.
Why having empathy and motivating your team is crucial
The key to building positivity around the business lies in how an entrepreneur tackles such circumstances and handholds his / her employees during tough times.
Ambivalence and lack of information are some of the key reasons that cause employees to assume the worst possible outcomes and scenarios. Thus, startup founders must keep motivating the team members and create engagement with them on positive things that they can control, rather than the things that are beyond anyone’s control. When they focus on what they can control, they’ll take positive action, as opposed to feeling helpless, low, or even depressed.
For a startup entrepreneur to sail through such tough times, he/she requires the support of his employees to ensure smooth functioning of the business.
The COVID-19 outbreak is an unprecedented event that has made it critical for entrepreneurs to take practical decisions. In such a situation, they need to chalk out important aspects that need urgent attention to help the business to sustain and also retain positivity among employees.
Providing professional and personal guidance
There are few principles to guide your startup business decisions during this time. This is applicable to every individual in the startup business.
Increase efficiency and productivity of your employees, though it can be a little challenging in current times due to remote work, by being in constant touch with them to gauge how they are coping with the new way of working can be helpful.
As a leader, you can also guide your employees on how they can manage their personal expenses and refrain from being tempted to invest money in the markets or in unvalidated investment opportunities. Providing reassurance to your team that everyone is together in the situation will boost their confidence and help them perform better.
Be open and transparent with your employees
Having said that, startup founders must also be transparent with the employees and share information about the reality of the situation, and its impact on the business. Apart from discussing business-related work, startup entrepreneurs can conduct motivational sessions with their employees, encourage them to stay healthy and exercise at home while also dedicating some time in doing what they enjoy.
For employees new to working from home, some might face challenges or have questions. Startup founders can make it easier for these employees by using collaboration and communication platforms to interact with their employees, thereby creating a space for open discussions.
The COVID-19 pandemic is also a reality-shift for startup businesses and employees alike, and we’re all adapting to this new change as rapidly as we can.
As a business leader, one last piece of advice I would like to share with all startup entrepreneurs is that all your employees look up to you during such times for guidance and support. Be sensitive towards them, help your employees to stay mentally and physically healthy and engaged. Take care of your team, they need you more now than they would in normal circumstances.
Edited by Megha Reddy
(Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of YourStory.)