One of our roles as business leaders is to create a safe environment in which to work and to be productive. Meanwhile, no one is working with a complete understanding of COVID-19. Each day we are flooded with information – some good, some bad; some founded in research and some in speculation. This flood of information means we may all be making decisions based on completely different sets of data points.
As leaders, it is important to share the information that you are using to determine how, when, and to what extent your business is going to return to normal. Over the last few weeks you have probably increased your usual communication cadence to keep people informed. Continue this practice to help people understand how operations might change. If you are returning to the office, will you be changing the layout? Are there new rules and protocols? Who will be enforcing them? When and where will masks be worn? Even something as small as new policies on shared spaces like a refrigerator or the coffeemaker can inform and prepare your team.
Change is hard for people on a normal day. Help them be prepared for what to expect. Give them a basis for why you are making these policies. While you may have agonized over each and every one of these details, communicating the reasoning for each decision will allow them to understand why these decisions have been made. And remember that they, too, understand that you are doing the best with the information you have.