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Tax & AccountingMay 24, 2020

Coaching During COVID-19 - What Employees Need Right Now

“Good leadership isn’t about advancing yourself. It’s about advancing your team.” This comment, attributed to John Maxwell, resonates with me right now.

The people you coach are part of your team, and they need you. During this global pandemic, organizations with good leadership will do better with their workforce both now and in the long run. As a coach to others, you are part of that leadership team.

Employees are anxious about job stability as they continue to adapt to working remotely from home. Many are juggling work and home commitments, finding themselves in the role of teacher due to school closures. Stress levels are high, nerves may be frayed, and some are struggling with feelings of isolation or loss of mental focus. Those you coach need your support more than ever.

Here’s what they need from you in the near term:

  • Communicate early and often about the company’s plan of action, even if the plan is evolving. Continue to keep them informed as any updates or changes to leadership plans happen. Employees feel safer if they know those in charge have a clear plan and are implementing it.
  • Provide all your firm can to employees so they can work from home productively. Workers need to feel well-prepared to do their job during this massive disruption. This could mean a computer monitor for the home office. It could mean access to group meeting software such as Microsoft Team, Skype for Business, GoToMeeting, or Zoom. Ask them what would make their job easier or more efficient as they work from home, and look for ways to provide what they need.
  • Demonstrate that the company cares about their wellbeing by asking them not only how they are doing, but how others in their household or family are doing. Employees need to hear that their company cares about their health and wellbeing. Point them in the direction of the company-sponsored Employee Assistance Program or Wellness Program. Don’t just mention it, send them the phone number and links to company webpages for these programs.

In this time of uncertainty, the people you coach need leadership, assistance, and, most of all, they need support, even if it’s just someone listening to them. As their coach, you have the opportunity to provide them with all three of those things, while reinforcing that they are a valued member of the company. And you can help them look past the immediate, and start planning for the future.

Ready for more coaching knowledge? Check out Jackie's other posts.

Jackie Fiesher
Jackie Flesher, CPA, CGMA
Jackie is a Coach Champion and Director at CliftonLarsonAllen (CLA) in the Washington DC region in their outsourcing division. Jackie’s clients are medium-sized private sector businesses as well as not-for-profit organizations. Jackie’s passionate work is to support the firm’s coaching program and help her colleagues get the most from their coaching relationships.
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