Emotions are at all time high. For everyone. Employers and employees alike.

When emotions are high, things are said and done that wouldn’t normally occur in a much calmer and predictable environment.

Natural survival instincts have kicked in and those who may normally be calm in storms may be acting a bit unsteady or erratic.

Those who may naturally be outwardly emotional are now even more so.

People are trying desperately to keep a stiff upper lip, but it is incredibly difficult. Tears are just beneath the surface and could burst out at any second without any notice.

Trying to focus for any length of time is virtually impossible, with the constant barrage of information and minute-by-minute changes.

So what’s an employer to do in these unprecedented times? How do we support our team members, and keep our own sanity?

Two things: 1) adjust expectations and 2) extend grace.

Expect people to act differently. Expect fuses to be shorter and anxiety to be up. Expect longer response times. Expect distracted minds. Expect lower productivity. Expect emotional outbursts. Expect tension. Expect difficulties. Expect apprehensive attitudes.

And then extend grace. For your team members, and yourself.

We are not robots. We are all under enormous pressure right now, and everyone is deeply impacted emotionally.

When we extend grace and allow people to be human, providing an emotionally safe work environment to process all that is happening in the world, we create a deep bond with team members that will help recovery efforts go much faster when the time comes to really push hard.