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Leading in Uncertain Times

Robert Rakocy

May 14, 2020

Uncertain Times

As a home care owner or executive, you have to make multiple decisions every day. You already wear multiple hats, carefully monitoring your clients, your finances, your recruitment efforts, and your caregivers. Your already packed to-do list didn’t have room for a global pandemic, but here we are.


Your leadership has never mattered more.


That sounds a bit like hyperbole, but it is true. With news about COVID-19 changing every day (and sometimes every hour), your caregivers, clients, and family members are looking to you for stability. Here are a few ways to be a great leader during this uncertain time.


Increase the Empathy


Your team members are scared and anxious right now. In addition to maintaining their work schedule with you, they are also trying to juggle childcare and learn how to help their children with virtual school. They are worried about their own older loved ones. They may also be unable to go to the grocery store after their shift, which gives them one more thing to worry about.


Remember to put empathy above everything else right now, choosing to see the struggles your caregivers are facing daily.


Be Solutions Oriented


You are going to have to think outside of the box during this time, and that’s okay. While you can still certainly use your agency’s policies and procedures as a guideline, you may also find yourself doing unusual things in the hopes of offering a solution to your caregivers, clients, or family members.


Perhaps you ask a local craft club to sew homemade masks for your staff so that they feel safer. Maybe you start every morning by calling at least one family member on your client roster to just say hello. Or, maybe you drop off a bag of groceries to a caregiver who cannot get to the store after her 12-hour shift.


Hear the worries and struggles of those you work with and see if you can find a solution.


Only Spread Correct Information


Information about coronavirus is everywhere, and most of it is simply inaccurate. While it is true that we still don’t know enough about COVID-19, you should only spread information around your agency that is from a reputable source. Reliable sources can include the CDC, your state’s health department, or your county’s health department.


If you hear about unreliable information being passed around your agency through staff or clients, shut it down as gently as you can. Choosing to only communicate reliable information is the best leadership decision you can make.


Ask for Help


Leadership is taxing and you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. In fact, now is the perfect time to begin delegating some tasks to your office staff or to call a peer to brainstorm about virtual recruitment or retention techniques.


You don’t have to lead alone. Allow others to help you, and ask specifically for what you need.


Leading and inspiring your staff right now is a challenge. Managing work schedules so that your clients are still receiving exceptional care during this scary time is a challenge. Communicating with family members and keeping their confidence is a challenge. 


Luckily, you have the tools you need to meet it face on.





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