Leading Teams in a COVID-19 World


In one sense everyone has been in this together: COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic. But in another, as individuals, we’ve had to chart our own course.

Organizations have responded by shutting down, ramping up, cutting back, going virtual - doing whatever has been needed to adapt to fast-changing business and societal needs while trying to keep employees, customers, and communities safe from infection.

Each country, state, community, and organization has had to find the “right” path to steer between responsible control of contagion and addressing economic and social needs.

As a manager, you’ve been in the middle of it all. Your organization relies on you to make its rapidly changing strategy a reality, to implement new work practices, to motivate your employees to do their best in what can be a scary and confusing environment. And your employees look to you as the representative of your organization. They come to you with their unique needs, concerns, and challenges, many of which, these days, you may never have encountered before nor know how to address.

Responding to this pandemic has not been a lockstep or one-size-fits-all process, with clear guidance that’s easy to explain and act on. You’ve probably been working in a gray area where judgment calls are constantly needed as you, your team, and your organization adapt to new realities.

You may have had to scramble to get people the tools and training to work virtually for the first time, or to follow safe work practices when connecting remotely isn’t an option. Customers may be coming to you with requests you had not anticipated.

Managers around the world are supporting workers who are:

• working with children at home because childcare or school has shut down
• at special health risk from COVID-19, or who live in households with others who are vulnerable
• experiencing illness, loss, and trauma, with impacts on their work

This guide offers ideas and best practices for leading in this time of uncertainty, based on what’s known about effective management, what’s been learned from other disruptive or traumatic events, and the information that’s emerging about the range of emotional reactions and practical needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click on the link to the left to download the guidebook.