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3 immediate actions managers should take to be considered confident leaders during the coronavirus pandemic and beyond

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  • Executives are faced with challenging decisions during the coronavirus outbreak and how they respond will be telling of their leadership abilities.
  • A recent study from the business advisory firm, Brunswick found US workers want their leaders to support statewide stay-at-home orders, require staff to wear protective gear such as masks and gloves, and retain employees. 
  • Workers are more confident in leaders who are able to accomplish all three of these goals. 
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It can be challenging to lead a team in the middle of a global pandemic. But there are ways to build your teams confidence in your leadership ability.
In an exclusive research partnership with Business Insider, business advisory firm Brunswick found that US workers want leaders who support stay-at-home measures, require personal protective gear in the workplace, and value financial stability.
Here's why these three actions will help to bolster employee confidence in your leadership ability.

Workers feel more supported by leaders who abide by stay-at-home orders.

Employees feel more confident in leaders that follow local safety guidelines. For example, Brunswick's research shows 63% of workers feel more confident in a leader that supports stay-at-home orders directed by their state's governor.
This can mean operating a business at less than normal capacity or enforcing state social distancing measures, such as remaining six feet apart. Expanding remote work benefits is another way to ensure employees adhere to safety measures.
For some companies, abiding by these guidelines can mean offering remote work permanently. This can have benefits. Some companies have found this increases productivity. Brennan McEachran, CEO and cofounder of meeting collaboration software company Soapbox, said moving to remote work permanently increased employee productivity. He also noted that colleagues at Soapbox now have more flexibility in their schedules.

Requiring protective gear at work helps employees feel safe from coronavirus. 

Wearing face masks and other personal protective gear at work can help employees feel safer when they do eventually return to the office.
Indeed, Brunswick data showed 61% of US workers are more confident in a leader that require masks to be worn by both customers and employees.
National supermarket chains such as Kroger, Costco, and Walmart have all implemented policies for shoppers and staff to wear masks. For many people, wearing a mask at work may alleviate COVID-19 anxiety. This can also make employees feel more in control about these unexpected circumstances, psychotherapist Amy Morin told Business Insider.
"Wearing a face mask is one way to convince ourselves that we have some control over it," Morin wrote. "We tell ourselves, 'Wearing this mask decreases my chances of getting sick.' This, in turn, reduces our anxiety."

Leaders who do everything they can to retain their staff are viewed as more reliable. 

A slowdown in hiring due to the disruption caused by the coronavirus is expected. Top tech companies like Google and Microsoft have all implemented hiring freezes to cope with the economic slump.
But a hiring freeze is only effective if it helps the company retain existing talent.
Nearly 61% of US workers surveyed by Brunswick said they have more confidence in a leader that keeps employees on payroll and hires additional staff, which can help avoid a potential workforce shortage. Experts recommend creating strategies to draw in talent.
Richard Mosley, a brand manager who's worked with major organizations such as Coca Cola, McKinsey, and the United Nations, wrote in Business Insider that it's important to develop a plan for attracting "critical talent." He also noted that it's important to retain and support front-line workers who are at risk of contracting the virus while on the job.
"If you haven't done so already, identify mission-critical roles inside your organization and develop a targeted approach for talent in those areas," Mosley wrote.
SEE ALSO: 9 industries Americans hope will get a government bailout — and 2 they definitely don't want to see get any taxpayer funds
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* This article was originally published here
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