Service: Human resources 

Topic: Coronavirus 

Managing your team through COVID-19 uncertainty

By Lauren Kelly

14 Apr 2020

With many jobs and businesses in jeopardy and a great deal of uncertainty, it is normal to feel stressed and anxious during this unprecedented time. As a business owner or team leader, it can be daunting to try and manage your employees’ concerns and difficult to identify where to start.

However, the government are putting multiple schemes in place to support businesses and employees and retain some degree of normalcy. Below, we have put together four key steps which you can act on now to help ease the stress that you and your team may be feeling.

Be transparent with your employees
Although you may not be delivering positive news, it is important for business leaders to maintain an effective line of communication with their teams and keep them informed of how the business will need to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

Inform your employees of government support schemes that will benefit them
Unemployment has started to rise as a direct result of this crisis but there are many different government support schemes which your business or employees can utilise to avoid or lessen financial hardship during this time.

Support that employers can provide:

  1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 
  2. Statutory Sick pay from day one, rather than day four

Support available from the government includes:

  1. Universal credit 
  2. Hardship fund 
  3. Mortgage holiday 
  4. New emergency measures with the energy industry

To view a summary of all the government support schemes and eligibility, click here.   

Promote Best Practice for Remote Working 
For those employees who are still working, doing so in isolation and without team contact can become taxing. Ensure you keep in contact with your employees on a regular basis throughout the week. 

At Gerald Edelman, we have continued our month-end drinks by hosting video calls via Zoom, a free videoconferencing software, and all of our teams meet at least once a week. We’ve also started sharing an internal newsletter with competitions, new entertainment ideas and fun resources to give our employees some positive news during this turbulent time 

Direct Employees to Mental Wellbeing Support Services
If you have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP), check whether your provider is still operational and remind your employees of this service. Individuals will react differently during this time, and some may benefit from the support of professional counsellors to learn how to better manage any stress or anxiety. 

If you do not have an EAP, there are other online resources available to you. Mind lists a range of resources which you can access free of charge. 

If you require any advice relating to this topic, or any other COVID-19 related issues, please contact your usual relationship partner or email us at

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