COVID-19 - Managing Fear & Anxiety in your Team

Posted on March 2020 by Sarah Di Pietro
Support Team

With Coronavirus causing a great deal of uncertainty in our people across the globe and world officials calling this a "Pandemic" there is a rise on fear and anxiety caused by the worry and fear of the unknown. In recent weeks we have seen the world go into crisis mode with panic across the globe, shelves in supermarkets empty, loss of jobs and the worst is still yet to come. There will be an impact on every individual and businesses and it's vital to ensure employers are proactive at managing the health and safety of their staff.

We understand we need to be more vigilant with personal hygiene, avoiding personal contact and social distancing needs to be no less than a metre. But what impact will this have on our mental health ! How can we deal with the emotions and stress?

While employers are preparing responses to safeguard their business operations and protect the physical health of their employees during this crisis, it’s important to consider everyone’s psychological health and safety, too. 

In order to support the psychological health and safety of your employees, here are some suggestions we thought could be useful to consider.

1. Lifestyle Programs: Fear and anxiety can be detrimental to the heath of employees and can also impact on business with loss of motivation, productivity, reliability and overall anxiety is contagious and can spread like wildfires. Programs can be anything from work counselling, yoga or relaxation classes and even weekly fruit platters can boost office morale.

2. Communicate & Empathise: Listen and share ideas on ways to keep the lines of communication open. Let your employees know that you care and keep them informed throughout the way. Find out what they need from you and reassurance to help with the sense of security.

3. Have a plan: Have a team meeting and provide an action plan should an employee fall ill. Reinforce the team to stay at home should they be unwell and look at the overall impacts on the business and their roles. What can you do to help? Have a Q&A accessible on the intranet portal and email one to each staff member.

4. Support & Understand: Be there for one another and understand business will be impacted and necessary events and training may be cancelled. Should hours need to be reduced, it's important to communicate this individually so your staff understand its not an end to their role and this is a short term plan.

We must find a way to come to terms with our situation and find peace with it. It is also essential that we promote kindness with each other; we are united by the challenges imposed by this global pandemic and together, we’ll get through it.