How to become a stronger manager during the pandemic

The most challenging times in our lives help us become more resilient. And right now, as cases of COVID-19 continue to spike across Canada and the United States and businesses struggle to stay afloat, owners and managers are being pushed to their limits. Those that can stay grounded and focused in the face of this adversity can foster greater resilience in themselves and among their team. 

The benefits of this are far-reaching. Resilient owners or managers are more likely to consider out-of-the-box ideas and stay open to input from their team. They’re also in a better position to embrace change and keep their people motivated and focused on important tasks when things get rough. 

Below, we’re sharing some actionable steps that any manager can take to get through these trying times and build even greater personal and professional resilience.

7 ways managers can become more resilient right now

Practice gratitude and self-compassion – There’s no other way to slice it—things are hard right now. Staying focused on the positives or counting the small successes to reframe negative thoughts can divert worries and stress. Even taking a moment to breathe and recognize that you’re doing your best can go a long way in helping you get through a tough day. 

Take breaks and lunch away from your desk – Working at home has blurred the lines of office and personal space for many people. This is why it’s even more important to take breaks and eat lunch away from your at-home workspace. Stepping away from the computer periodically can help you recalibrate your mind. So that when you do come back, you’re able to work more efficiently and get the job done.  

Take advantage of health and wellness benefits – Employee benefits are designed to help keep people healthy. Whether massages help you de-stress, or an online personal trainer keeps you motivated to do your at-home workouts, you might be able to use health spending accounts or flexible benefits offerings to your advantage right now. Maximizing these perks can support your efforts in fostering more resilience within your team too. 

Reach out for support when you need it – Many employee benefits plans include mental health offerings or other support services such as financial counseling and telemedicine. If you’re in a particularly bad spot, remember that it’s okay to reach out for professional support.  Leaning on people to get through tough times is not a weakness. It’s a sign of someone who strong and finding ways to become more resilient.  

Exercise and spend time in nature – Many studies have proven that exercise and spending time in nature will help you better manage and reduce stress. Whether you commit to a regular morning exercise routine or block out time in your calendar for a walk every day, these small acts of self-care will keep you feeling physically healthy and strong. Getting some fresh air will also help you think more clearly, possibly sparking new problem-solving ideas. 

Create virtual team building sessions – Working in isolation can be very difficult for some people. And remotely interacting with your team members on a work-only basis stifles company culture. Managers who plan interactive virtual gatherings can encourage their teams to have some fun and forget about the heaviness in the world. Virtual dance parties, happy hours, talent shows, pet meet-and-greets are just a few ways that you can lighten the mood and keep people smiling. 

Keep the dialogue open with employees – It’s easy to assume everyone is doing fine or coping well. But that’s not always the case. Managers who can share what they are doing to stay resilient during this pandemic can inspire others to do the same. Having one-on-one conversations with employees to just chat and see how they are doing can also help employees feel more supported and connected to leadership during this difficult time. 

Exploring new ways to build resilience right now

Resilience isn’t something that is straightforward or comes easy to most. Our state of resilience is usually in constant flux and influenced by a multitude of factors. Some are internal and revolve around our mindset, while others are external and require us to cultivate better habits. Just like anything else in life, becoming more resilient requires commitment and constant practice.If you’d like to better understand how your employee benefits plan can support greater resilience in your organization, our team at BenefitDeck is a phone call or email away.

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