Ten Tips for Managing Staff and Well-being during a Challenging Time

April 29, 2021 | By: Tara Davis, Cynthia Mills, Matt Tenney and Amanda Madrid

While times are not as unpredictable as they were a year ago, most industries are still in the process of a large transition. Leaders need to be equipped to guide their teams through changes and a possible return to a new way of working while still maintaining their own balance. Here are a few tips from leaders across the industry about how to stay afloat.

Focus on your core. That may mean completely putting that strategic plan on hold so that we can survive and thrive.”-Cynthia Mills

The best laid plans are not always seen through. You and your team need to be adaptable. Let them know it is ok to go off course if it means success and health of the company and the team in the long run. Many people may feel overwhelmed or under-prepared for a drastic shift in a strategic plan, so be prepared to encourage and put confidence in a team if plans have to change.

“Make a list of the things you can control and focus on those”- Tara Davis

This period has shown us that we cannot control everything. We cannot put out every fire. This can feel overwhelming and end up making you less productive. Start each day with a priority list and even include easy items like “check your email” or “drink water”. Checking something off, no matter how small, can build confidence and help you be more organized.

“We do have to balance hope and reality.”-Cynthia Mills

We do not know what the next few months look like. It is important when staying positive and mindful, that you enter conversations with a heavy dose of honesty. There is no problem in saying “I don’t know,” “Let me ask,” or “We will see.” Just be sure to follow up on those promises, close the loop and make your staff feel informed.

“The number one most important thing to combat stress is to sleep.”-Cynthia Mills

Doctors, people in your life, and leadership coaches will all say the same thing. The best thing you can do for yourself is sleep. Remind your staff to get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Respect their boundaries in terms of time. Not only does sleep improve your mindset, but it can improve your overall health.

“It is very important to take 35, 45 minutes, an hour if you want to, in the morning to do some sort of exercise or meditation.”- Amanda Madrid

Madrid suggested her team take time out of their day to decompress and take care of their body. She said it was important they knew to make themselves a priority and to start the day with intention. Madrid said that the time she spends in nature each morning helps her work day feel more organized and helps herself feel more refreshed and ready to take on the day. She said that leaders should stress the importance of taking care of their bodies

“It’s very important to think of it as social distancing not as social isolation”-Tara Davis

Mindset is key during challenging times. Physical distancing has left many people’s moral very low. Make sure than any work from home staff are made to feel included and try to have virtual “face-to- face” meetings at least once a week. Over the next few months, everyone will have different comfort levels about in-person meetings. It is important to consider that as teams begin to discover their new way of working.

“We feel like we have to be productive, we are sitting at out desk, but I feel now more than ever its important to take a break at least every hour.”– Matt Tenney

Taking a break at work can often make people feel guilty. Especially in unpredictable or high-stress times, there is an expectation that people should be working all the time. However, taking a break and letting your mind reset may make you more efficient and help your overall mood.

“Make sure that the sources you are going to are trustworthy.”- Tara Davis

Information overload is real. Make sure that the sources you are passing on to your staff are trustworthy and make sure that you and your staff take a break from the news during the day. It is difficult to lead a group that is confused and has low morale, so make sure they feel empowered by information, not suffocated by it.

“As a leader, as a manager, as a parent, I needed to be able to keep myself whole in order to be useful for others.”- Amanda Madrid

Madrid made sure to make herself a priority. She practiced self-care in her own home by taking walks everyday, so that she could be a prepared leader for her staff. She said that she made sure she was organizing her day so that she could be the best she could be at every moment.

Of all your activities, pick one and for a week you try to apply that curious awareness of being mindful.” – Matt Tenney

There are activities people do everyday in their office or during their workday whether it be walking to your car or sitting with a morning coffee. Choosing a daily activity and using it to practice mindfulness will make it easier to form the habit. Not intentionally thinking of anything can free the mind up and help people learn what their mind and body needs at that moment.

Cynthia Mills, Founder of The Leaders’ Haven
Matt Tenney, Founder of The Generous Group
Tara Davis, Director of Staff Well-Being and Engagement for the American Psychological Association
Amanda Madrid, Associate Director with Cushman & Wakefield

To stay up to date on news and resources such as this and other topics of importance to the real estate industry, subscribe to the free CRE Insight Journal Newsletter using this link.