In all the years I’ve been doing the work I do, I’ve never had more emails and social media messages asking for support on a single topic than I’ve had in the past four weeks.
That subject is Covid Fatigue….or Lockdown Lethargy.
It seems as though many leaders can see their teams are flat and drained.
The novelty of working remotely is long-gone. Home schooling has taken more of a toll than we anticipated and the one-year ‘anniversary’ of COVID19 hasn’t helped our psyche.
And whilst in the UK we know what the roadmap looks like, there’s still a great deal of uncertainty about the future.
This all combines to create a very real energy vacuum and motivation drain.
Tips and ideas for beating Pandemic Fatigue
What follows is a pick ‘n’ mix of ideas to help us all through the challenging times that lie ahead… until we can once again sit side by side with our colleagues and hug our family and friends.
It’s a list of ideas I’ve curated from others along with my own thoughts. Some will work for you and some won’t… but I hope there are two or three that will make a difference to you and those you lead.
I’ve split the ideas across two posts; one full of things leaders can do, and one that we can do on an individual level.
Part One – 18 tips for leaders on beating Pandemic Fatigue
#1 Enforce a lunch hour and don’t allow any calls or meetings to take place unless they are absolutely Mission Critical.
#2 Don’t allow any meetings to be booked that start before 9:30am and after 4:30pm.
#3 Encourage your team to use the phone instead of video calls where possible; it’s less draining.
#4 Finish each week by looking two weeks ahead and building a plan for the coming week (learn more here).
#5 Help your team to prioritise. Make it explicitly clear what the ‘Main Efforts’ are for each week, what can be paused and what can be ditched.
#6 Break tasks and projects down into sub-goals and sprints.
#7 Celebrate success. Actively look for small wins to celebrate.
#8 Be clear with your team, and yourself, about what needs to be 100% perfect and where 70% is good enough.
#9 Allow time for connection in meetings.
#10 Talk with your team about the doubts and discomfort they are experiencing. You don’t need to be able to fix everything; simply listening can provide a sense of reassurance.
#11 Be ok with sharing your own feelings of discomfort and saying ‘I don’t know’ occasionally.
#12 Shorten meetings where possible by staying focused.
#13 Send everyone in your team a handwritten thank you card. (more info here)
#14 Send your team a small gift in the post to say thank you. The boost in morale will be disproportionately positive compared to the cost/effort.
#15 Call or email your team at the end of each week to thank them for their work.
#16 Have the courage to challenge upwards if your team really are being asked to do too much and are on the verge of burnout. A leader’s job is to deliver the results AND to look after those we lead.
#17 Balance compassion with drive. When you notice signs of the mood and energy lifting, crank up the pace and push the team on. Don’t pamper the team and don’t do it for for too long.
#18 Focus on your own language. Ensure it is positive, helpful and energising.
You can read the second part of this article here.