Life is a coronacoaster – so let’s ride it
19th October 2020
It was bound to happen at some point. Up to then NG had fared pretty well, but a week ago one of our team had a positive Covid test and things got pretty real pretty quickly.
Ellis stayed at home and complied with all the government guidance. As her boss you get hit with a whole range of emotions; will they be okay?… will their family be okay?… will the team be okay?… will I be okay?… but then you stop, and put your plan into action.
Fortunately, about three months before Covid hit the UK, my colleague Sunny Landa headed a project to upgrade all our tech and systems which means all the NG team are fully equipped for remote working. So, that was quickly covered off.
Then the NHS Track and Trace started to ping into life. At our weekly board meeting it alerted two more members of the team who were told to go into self isolation. Then, later that day, another colleague was told they were out of the game for nine days.
My biggest concern was their anxiety levels. I made sure I kept them updated and they kept talking to me. All our-pre planning and positive attitude to support each other kicked in and pretty quickly I realised that they had all their work under control. They were fantastic in really testing times.
I had total trust in them – and hopefully they in me. It was so important to ensure there was a balance between communication and self-management; providing regular updates and making sure the self-isolators aren’t getting too stressed, letting them get work done on their own terms and making sure they knew if they needed help on anything work or personal, all they had to do was say so and I would do what ever is needed.
It’s so important is to make space to hear how your team members are truly doing and to be compassionate. They may not want to share much detail, which is completely fine. Knowing that they can is what matters. They are relying on you and will remember how you treated them during this unprecedented time.
This is where taking the time to really get to know your team individually and be genuinely interested in their well being is so important and is at the heart of any tight knit group.
I know some of my team may be feeling anxious about returning to work after self-isolating so its important for them to know they aren’t alone. The pandemic has posed one of the biggest threats to public health we’ve seen in a generation, with the threat of a second wave, and the potential for local lockdowns, it is hard for everyone.
Living through this experience requires resilience, which is worth reflection and some self-congratulation. Our team is already looking at what they can take forward from the experience and how they can apply this insight into both work and family life.
For now, though, we concentrate on welcoming our team back when they’re ready and facing the next stage of the Covid-19 challenge with compassion and resilience.