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5 Top Tips for Balancing People and Business during COVID-19

Reflections on how leaders can confidently support their teams as they also navigate the challenges presented by COVID-19

The world has changed significantly in the past few weeks. As many businesses around the world experience lockdown, how can we effectively balance the needs of people and business throughout COVID-19?

With employees and teams turning to their leaders more than ever for reassurance, advice, and guidance in times of great uncertainty, here are some of our top tips for navigating the path ahead.

#1—Embrace Opportunity to Show Others You Are Human, with Life Outside of Work

Check-in with your team — ask how they are feeling and how the situation is impacting them. Share your own emotions. Check-in on the mental health and well-being of your team often.

#2—Promote and Share Positive Pragmatism with Your Teams

Openly sharing challenges with the team will nurture a problem-solving approach. Identify individuals in your team who are brilliant in a crisis and involve them early on by asking for their help with tackling key business challenges. Provide regular communications and updates even when there is no news.

#3—Resist Temptation to Put Everything on Hold

Help your team keep focused and stay busy by preparing a list of business priorities they can work on should their usual workload diminish. Consider learning and knowledge sharing sessions, virtual coffee chats to create reasons for your team to stay connected.


Openly sharing challenges with the team will nurture a problem-solving approach.

#4—Do Not Be Afraid to Imagine What You Would Like Your Team and Business to Look like on the Other Side

Many people are suggesting that this will be a period of great transformation and that a line in the sand will be drawn between life before and after COVID-19. The practices you put in place now could fast become habits, so make sure they are behaviors you want to foster in the long-term. Try adopting agile approaches to working in your team.

#5—Find Time for Yourself, to Slow Things Down, Reflect and Consult with Others

There is a lot to process, so make sure you plan downtime for yourself. Do not be afraid to ask for advice. There are countries and teams at different stages of this crisis, and lessons can be learned from each other for the good of our society.

We are all in this together! I am proud to be a part of an organization that has urgently responded to the needs of our customers. We are listening carefully to their concerns, and producing tools like the Virtual Solution Suite and RemoteWorkQ that can ease some of the stress of the many challenges we are facing.

For more information on each of these tips, watch our webinar “Balancing People and Business During COVID-19”. We will continue to partner with our customers throughout this journey to share more advice, reflections, and guidance as the weeks and months progress.

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Sarah McLellan

Sarah is a business psychologist who spends her days seeking to understand and optimize the power of people to help individuals and organizations flourish. As Director of European Professional Services at SHL, she’s responsible for an international team who design talent solutions to help solve business challenges for hundreds of companies around the world. Sarah has been partnering with organizations for over 15 years, consulting across talent acquisition and talent management. She is passionate about optimizing the role people science can play in shaping the future of work.

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