Help Lead Your Team Through COVID-19

Help Lead Your Team Through COVID-19

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The rise of the COVID-19 virus has tested all of us in ways we never previously imagined. Septic services professionals, for example, are deemed essential businesses and will continue working in the field amidst warnings for the rest of the population to isolate themselves and self-quarantine.

Pumpers don’t have the luxury of working remotely. This can lead to a certain amount of anxiety on the part of business owners and their employees. What follows are a few simple steps to provide steady, reassuring leadership through unprecedented times.

1. Be truthful but optimistic.

As you talk to your company about the treacherous present and the unclear future, it’s important to do so from a posture of hopefulness: Assert that your business will weather this storm and that things will get back to normal sooner or later. Your team members need to hear that hopeful tone. What they don’t need are false assurances. None of us know how long this will last or what the overall fallout will be, so lace your optimism with straight talk about all the things that remain uncertain.

2. Don’t assume you know why your employees are afraid.

Some of your employees will justifiably find this season to be stressful and scary. But remember, you don’t know the specific nature of their fears. Some may worry about job loss, but others may have personal, family or health-related concerns. It’s never been more important to listen, avoid assumptions and let your employees know they can talk to you about whatever is bothering them.

3. Expect some chaos.

The general unpredictability of COVID-19 means it’s really hard to set long-term plans. During this tumultuous time, it may be better to focus on setting short-term goals with more regular check-in points. Now may not be the best time to tell your employees you want to bring in 30 new accounts this year. Instead, set the smaller goal of checking in with existing clients, or of completing a couple of significant projects over the next week or two.

4. Embrace new beginnings and opportunities.

Challenging times can bring surprising opportunities. We’re already seeing this as some pumpers and plumbers report an uptick in service calls related to disposable-wipe clogs during the ongoing toilet paper shortage. It’s not an ideal situation, but work is work. In any case, be open to some ways in which changing circumstances can help you transform the focus of your business.

5. Seek help as you need it.

There are a number of opportunities available for financial assistance, whether through Small Business Administration loans (available in some states) or through pending federal stimulus. These are uncharted waters, and if your business is running into hardship, it’s perfectly OK to seek help. Keep your eyes open for additional ways to get the boost you need.

Nobody knows the endgame of COVID-19, but with a suitably optimistic and pragmatic attitude, you can lead your business ever forward.

If you have ideas of your own to share that could help other pumpers lead their companies through these uncertain times, leave a comment below.


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