Your people need to hear from you

We are living through surreal times. Schools are closed. Concerts postponed and conferences canceled. Sports seasons are suspended. Non-essential travel is discouraged. Restaurants and bars are closed for everything but carry-out and delivery.

If you haven't already, your people need to hear from you. There is so much that is unknown: how long will this last? when will the economy recover? is all this really necessary? Because this is a public health crisis, in the absence of knowing for sure, we should err on the side of caution.

In her remarks on Thursday, Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton, estimated that in Ohio COVID-19 will peak in late April to mid-May.* That date is by no means guaranteed and, relatively speaking, it's a long time from now. But at least it's a guidepost. If we get back to normal sooner: Yay!

Meantime, plan for the worst and hope for the best.

Your people need to hear from you. They need to know you care and that you have a plan. Your plan may not be much, but it should be something like, "This is how we're going to do things around here to get through these terrible times." You should be transparent about how COVID-19 impacts your business. After all, this is their livelihood, too.

It's not business as usual. Even if your company isn't directly impacted by closures or restrictions, it's likely your customers are, as well as your suppliers & vendors. Importantly, in other parts of their lives, your employees may be facing hardship. Maybe they've got kids home from school. An elderly parent. A spouse with "underlying health conditions." Maybe they are losing income. Be flexible, compassionate, and patient.

Here are some tips to help you as a leader:

BE A-POLITICAL. This is a public health crisis. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, your political outlook is irrelevant. Do the right thing for your people because