With the coronavirus continuing to cause concern and physical changes to the way business is conducted in the United States, it is important to remember that crises such as these automatically raise the stress levels among small business owners and their employees. But, there are some easy things a business owner can do to lower the stress level in the organization.
Here are ten items you can focus on in the short term:
- If you or your employees are impacted financially or socially in your living environment to the crisis, seek specialized mentoring from SCORE mentors who have experience in specific area.
- If you have background music in your business facilities, arrange for more soothing or calming music See my article “A Little Mood Music Maestro".
- If you or any of your employees have a craft or hobby, encourage them to devote more time in the day to that activity. If you have a creative activity you engage in such as journeling, painting, music or other, spend some time each day on that activity.
- If your business engages in a community recreation activity, encourage employees to participate.
- Encourage employees to share “stories” of business activity that demonstrate the values of the organization or create learning experiences for each other.
- As a business owner, be yourself. Know your “role” depending on the level of crisis. Authenticity in the business environment promotes condfidence among employees that you are competent and concerned. If you need a reference see Bill George’s book Authenticity.
- Give your employees feedback on a scenario or situation that went particularly well for the business.
- Communicate very clearly to all employees what is expected and how the business needs to conform to local directives if they apply.
- Show empathy in scenarios where employees have special situations such as children who have specific needs.
- Create special networking connections including government officials who might have updated information at a moments notice that would impact the business and employees.
Investigate whether special processes such as Business Continuation and Emergency Response disciplines might apply. Do not hesitate to ask about this framework. Rely on SCORE and its resources as yu gain a better understanding of the crisis.