You have been told over your entire business career not to get too personal with people that you manage. You've been told it's a bad idea to cross the line because it's very difficult to cross back. You have been told a lot of things and at the time they made sense. But now it is not business as usual.
Your team will be a critical part of your success in bouncing back and they need attention. It is time now to get personal. Many of the truisms that you heard in the past are no longer applicable. You are going to hear many recommendations that you’ve never heard before. That is because we are in a new era that calls for new management and leadership skills. Your team needs you and your leadership in an entirely different way.
Getting personal literally means getting personal. Early on you should make time to meet with every team member one-on-one and talk about how they are doing, how they're feeling, how they're coping, and if there's anything they want or need to talk about. Don't press hard. Don't give absolute dogmatic solutions. Just listen and ask questions. Sometimes being listened to is one of the best therapies.
You can't change the life circumstances of every team member, but you can be compassionate, and you can care. Caring means taking the time to ask the questions and listen. Wait a few weeks and do it again. Listen to hear if the person feels that their life or work are improving. There will be people coming back to work that have been permanently affected by the COVID-19 crisis. They may be affected emotionally, but they may be affected financially. They may be anxious, and they may be scared. Taking the time to listen, having them know somebody cares about them goes a long way toward helping them recover from this challenging time.
Feel free to share your own emotions about what has happened, how it's affected you, and what you are doing to bring yourself back. This is called authenticity and it is the style of leadership that many people like and appreciate even more when there’s a crisis. They like to know that their leader understands and may possibly be having similar emotions or experiences that they are. It creates an understanding, a bond, and even a better friendship.
Your team is a critical aspect of the practice recovery. They are the ones who have been there, been loyal and came back. Do your best to help them recover from this period.