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After the Pandemic: 12 Challenges for Managers

As with many workplace issues, managers and supervisors occupy a place on the front lines of each workplace. They are responsible for directing and supervising day-to-day work and may be the only ones to lay eyes on employees. Managing remotely has created many challenges and there will be new challenges when employees return to the workplace. At this point, how to address those may involve more questions than answers.

Since most of us have not experienced a pandemic, what we know about managing them comes from research into past traumatic events. Some patterns of behavior and impact are common to epidemics such as SARS, H1N1, and various flu epidemics. We also learned something about return to work issues post-9/11. History has shown that businesses need to anticipate workforce problems as people return to work. Here are 12 challenges that managers and supervisors may face in the future.

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How Managers Can Help During Times of Uncertainty

We continue to experience turbulent times, politically, socially, and economically, which are now further complicated by fears of a pandemic. What can managers do during these uncertain times?

A good first step for a manager is to look around his or her workgroup to see how people are doing. Does anyone look particularly “down”? Is there someone who’s been more affected by these disturbing times than others? Has someone experienced personal tragedy or loss this year on top of the uncertainties in the world? Are there employees who are struggling with work-life challenges such as child care, eldercare, or financial worries?

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Building Emotional & Mental Wellness Globally

Employers have long realized the benefits of helping workers stay physically healthy, but many have been reluctant to venture into the less understood, often stigmatized realm of mental health issues. Today, that attitude is starting to change as organizations realize the extent of the problem and the toll it takes on productivity and business continuity.

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