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8 Things to Protect Your Team During a Crisis

Morning! Today’s blog is for all of you business owners out there, employers and even employees.  I wanted to write about something SUPER important, the glue that keeps your business together… your team. I know we’ve all been worrying, adapting, stressing, but …. HOW ARE THEY DOING?

To be totally transparent, Team Jilly and I have been all over the map with our emotions and feelings during this time as we navigate the unknown. We are experiencing the same panic, the unsettling news updates, and not being able to connect with our team, community, friends, and family. As a Business Owner and Boss, I have had to really work hard to wrap my head around all of this and come up with ways I feel best support my team. So, today, I wanted to share with you my personal thoughts and my approach during this time to help provide support to all of the girls on Team Jilly!

Jillian Harris and Team Jilly Group PhotoHow to Support Your Team Checklist

1. Check-in

We have scheduled two conference calls every week for the foreseeable future to touch base and virtually see each other! We have one call first thing Monday morning and one to on Friday morning. This allows us to check-in and see how everyone is doing. I normally kick off the call by sharing with Team Jilly how I have been coping with things and then I turn it over to them. I make sure each of them are aware that this was a safe space to share their thoughts as well, after all, we are in this together! While you and your team or co-workers are working remotely (or further apart than usual!) make sure to check-in with your team to find out how they are doing! During this time of isolation, it is important that your team knows they have a support system to lean on! For us, its been a really nice way to vent, share worries and thoughts and also make each other feel a bit better.

2. Covering counseling costs

Mental health has always been very important for our team even before the pandemic. We have a contractor on call who, while isn’t a certified therapist is an excellent resource to help maintain a healthy parasynthetic nervous system, mental health, and healthy routines and habits. I have always told my team that if they are struggling in any area of their life that they are free to book a session with Jaime and JHD would pay the bill no questions asked.  After all, if your employees don’t have a clear head, how can you expect them to lead your business? So in this scenario, I reminded them of that. We are all thinking about things we’ve NEVER thought about before … like when can I go get groceries? Will there be anything left? How do I work with my kids at home? How do I work with my hubby at home? How do you deal with a partner being laid off? Will I get sick? Will my family get sick? Also, their entire personal routine has been thrown out the door and that alone can take a toll on one’s mental state…. So … If your team is still working… make sure they are ok…. And IF  you are financially able to offer to cover the costs for your team members to talk to a professional. Whether they want to share their thoughts with you or a counselor it is important that each of us prioritize our mental health during these times!

Team Jilly Easton Shay and Annie

3. Check-in on their workspaces

Ask to see everyone’s workspaces (this didn’t apply to our team as much because we already all work from home) but challenge your employees to spend the day setting up a healthy work zone. Give them the time to do this, they may also need a small budget to order items such as a printer, desk lamp, supplies.

4. Offer advances if needed

Many members in our community have been temporarily or indefinitely laid off. Unfortunately, this is due to businesses closing down or are not able to operate during these times. While all Team Jilly Members jobs are secure at this time (along with part-time employees and contractors), members of our team may have partners who have been laid off or financially affected.   If you are able to and if any employees need help financially offer to pay them in advance. Not only will this help support their family during this time but it will also relieve a lot of their stress!

5. Discuss the future

Be as open and as transparent as you can about what the future holds. As for Team Jilly, we are trying to take things week by week. Like every other business, we have lost some projects, speaking engagements, and income…  we have canceled our upcoming photoshoots and we have rescheduled any of our in-person meetings to be virtual instead. All of this change can have your employees wondering where they stand and what the new plan is. Even if you have to lay off employees, let them know how much they mean to you, how hard this is and what their future may look like once things return to normal. If your team is still working for you but working from home, make a plan. Our schedule has been all over the place over the last 2 weeks and we have all the feels but its important to get back on track!

Jillian Harris and Team Jilly

6. Try to create some normalcy

This week we had a big meeting called the 2020 Re-Shift. We talked about what our NEW priorities were this year, what it will look like working remotely, what everyone’s roles will be and what our goals are with the company.  There are a TON of distractions out there and its healthy for your team to be able to escape and have some normalcy in their job. This means holding them accountable, creating new goals and tasks and continuing with daily and weekly check-ins on productivity, organization, and systems. It’s also important for everyone to look at their schedules and re-shift them with realistic expectations. This may mean that your team is not working their typical hours.

7. Be easy on your team

Having said the above, be easy on your team. They may be experiencing reduced business hours due to childcare, or inefficient workspaces. They may be worried about the future, food security, finances, missing their social routine… they will be ‘off’ so be patient with them.

New Sandhill Rose Wine

8. Send them a little pick me up

Lastly, if you can send your team a little pick me up. These are your peeps. These are the ones that hold your company together. Don’t forget to let them know how much you care. Last week we sent all Team Jilly members a few bottles of Sandhill Wine. Maybe its wine, maybe its an iTunes gift certificate, a month of Netflix, a food delivery gift certificate, anything to brighten their day and remind them that they are valued!

We have implemented these ideas over the last couple of weeks and have found them all to be very helpful for myself and the rest of the team. Whether you are a business owner, leader or manager I hope you found these ideas helpful and that you can implement them to help yourself and your team during these trying times!

We are all in this together!!



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