Thought Leadership

How to Inspire Your Teams During the COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis looms large in our personal and professional lives. We are in the midst of a global pandemic while also finding new ways of managing teams and businesses.

After two weeks of working from home, I’ve accepted that remote work will be the new norm for the foreseeable future for many of us. But for business leaders, the question now becomes: Are we prepared to manage this crisis? We have a responsibility to do so appropriately.

Companies are adapting to remote work and business leaders must learn to navigate other new challenges, such as establishing a different kind of work-life balance while continuing to manage projects for employees and organizations. But with these challenges come opportunities for development and growth for your team.

Here are four ways for leaders to set up their teams for long-term success in this new norm:

1. Be sensitive and compassionate with employees.

In times of uncertainty, we can establish loyalty and trust if we handle the situation properly. As we manage this unprecedented health crisis, we must prove to our teams that we truly care about their well-being. Listen to their concerns and be supportive during this difficult time. This is of utmost importance.

2. Become better thought leaders.

Now is not the time to chase down new opportunities or business leads. The philosophy is simple: Show thought leadership and compassion now, and positive results will follow. During the coronavirus crisis, leaders must be a resource and provide support. We must also communicate this way of thinking to our teams.

3. Determine what’s essential.

As leaders, we should review what we need to sustain our businesses during this time of crisis. We must determine what’s necessary to succeed, what we might need moving forward and what is no longer useful.

4. Establish meeting cadences and milestones.

With shelter-in-place regulations growing, we must also communicate clearly with tools such as Zoom and Slack, and establish project-specific channels and daily times to communicate. Our favorite meetings this week just happened to be our morning coffee chats and virtual happy hours.

None of us can predict when the COVID-19 crisis will come to an end. In the meantime, it’s up to us as business leaders to remain patient, calm and sensitive as we navigate the changing waters of this new norm.


David Cardiel is the head of demand generation at earned-media leader Cision. In an effort to support PR and communications professionals during this uncertain time, Cision has compiled these free resources.

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