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Everyone is accustomed to certain levels of stress in their day-to-day professional life. Heck, it’s even expected. But when a long-drawn out global pandemic appears to have no end in sight, the uncertainty of it all can send stress and anxiety levels through the roof.

As a leader, providing a level of reassurance is crucial to keeping your team together. Here are 6 management tips to help you rally your team in unprecedently stressful times.

1. Know your employees

No matter how new or experienced your staff may be, it’s crucial to know your employees in order to assess and understand the kind of stress they’re experiencing. Is it caused by burnout at work or by factors beyond your control? Acknowledging the underlying cause will help put you in a position to bring stress levels down – which is good for everyone.

2. Encourage work-life balance

Remote working may have its advantages, but it’s also made many employees unable to switch off from work and separate their work life from their home life. Encourage staff to not respond to emails or calls after a certain time. Having a fresh mind in the morning benefits their productivity and your bottom line.

3. Strike a stress balance

While it isn’t your job to make all stress vanish, it is your responsibility as a leader to ensure you and your staff can balance and handle existing stress levels. This might require you to ask questions, such as ‘Are you prioritising your work well?’ or ‘Are you taking your break?’, in order to help offer solutions to work-related issues.

4. Lead with empathy

While tough love may deliver its desired effects, taking that approach every time may add negative pressure to your management or employees, which may ultimately lead to high levels of work-associated stress. Try focus on leading with empathy instead, which will require you to truly listen, to be less judgemental, and to take a personal interest in your staff.

5. Keep everyone in the know

Right now, everything is uncertain, and this is the biggest killer. As a business leader with the responsibility of keeping your company out of the woods, you have it the hardest. But for your staff, who might be worried about the stability of their job or the company they work for in these difficult times, it isn’t easy. Quell their concerns by communicating and keeping them in the know about company developments – good and bad.

6. Recognise all achievements

It’s so easy to only see the bad and share negative feedback, but what about praise? It’s human nature to see the negative first, and this applies to employees too, but sharing positive feedback for work well done will go a long way in employee satisfaction and in boosting morale, especially during difficult times

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