Many have tried to describe the way they are feeling in these times (and it even changes on a week-to-week basis). Some weeks you are overly optimistic and other weeks you are not. Some weeks you are ready to have everyone begin to come into the office, then the next week you (or the team) are less comfortable with that idea.
Most successful remodelers are planners. Most successful strategies in the past have focused on knowing your mission, having a vision, developing a plan to get there, communicating that vision and plan, then “make it happen" and execute. While that still makes sense, things have changed.
One common denominator in how most everyone is feeling however is fatigue. Regardless of all the sales successes or not, most people are worn out. Managing fatigue — for you and your team — should be a top priority in today's environment.
The following are some ways to address team fatigue:
- Be empathetic: Try to look at this topic through your employees eyes, not yours. My kids are grown. I am not home schooling. I spoke to a leader recently who spoke about his life at home with little kids as being far worse than his intense work. Wow. As a leader you need to be empathetic and finds ways to help team members like my friend. This need to be a priority.
- Communicate: Communication can be therapeutic. By discussing fatigue and how people are dealing with it might relieve a light of the weight of the stress. You need to not only recognize it but also get ahead of it and make everyone aware that you are working on ways to help.
- Change expectations: When you are setting expectations, you need to add the fatigue factor. You might need to adjust the expectations (load and timeliness) Try to make that part of the conversation considering both the personal and professional lives.
- Take inventory of time and activities: Try to take some inventory on the amount of time people are spending on the many activities. Move the non-critical things off the plates. You will be shocked how much time is spent on the piling on stuff. Again, this is your job to manage this.
- Forced time off: Vacations and days off should not be an option. I work with a $40-million business that forces people to take vacations (not for economic reason) so they can recharge. I know there are travel restrictions but there are many ways to recharge.
- Get creative: One business I work with pushed team members to work remotely — beach houses, cabins and even traveling in RVs with mini office. The team not only loves the company, but they are also are more productive and are making lemonade out of lemons.
- Pace yourself: I know there is a lot of business out there, but you need to pace yourself. Try to control the flow the best you can rather than reacting to the business available. Your clients will understand — this is a pandemic — if they do not then they are not the right clients for you and your business.
In closing, how do you want to be remembered? When your team looks back at how empathetic you were what might they say? Are you going to lose this because you did not pace yourself?
While there is so much uncertainty, it is your job to lead your team through the fatigue.