The question that has been lingering in people’s minds: Should I talk about COVID 19 at work?
The problem we have around health issues is that most of us don’t know the challenges we face.
People are relying on social media and rumor mills to understand this virus and how it impacts the body.
I remember listening to a podcast one day that had a “doctor” speaking on the impact of COVID and what vaccines or other remedies would work to combat it.
I looked up this person’s credentials to find that they had a PhD, but not in public health or anything else health related.
This person had a PhD in art design.
But because they are a doctor, they feel empowered to be on a podcast speaking on health-related matters.
This is creating division in our country because people with no scientific knowledge claim to be experts.
And the vast majority of people are getting their information from sources that are not credible.
Yet, you as a leader in healthcare are doing nothing to educate people because you’re afraid it’s controversial.
What’s more controversial? You not talking about COVID or the fact that your nurses are quitting every day because of how they’re getting treated at work?
500,00 nurses will leave the bedside in 2022.
This is more catastrophic than you being afraid to talk about COVID.
You have people who work for you that are spreading misinformation about COVID.
They are asserting their leadership on the matter and this is not good for your organization.
How to Talk About COVID at Work
1. Remember that you are a healthcare leader.
You need to remember that healthcare needs leaders and they need you to lead.
A leader doesn’t shy away from talking about tough topics or issues that matter to the team.
Talking about it doesn’t mean sending weekly emails.
You need to host a town hall and staff meetings.
Have a conversation with your team about healthcare and what is happening to people that get coronavirus.
You have the obligation as a leader to speak from a factual standpoint.
Do research on the subject matter.
Listen to epidemiologists and some infectious disease physicians to hear what they have to say.
Communicate facts to your team, not just your opinion.
This should be done regularly.
Like any virus, COVID is changing and mutating.
What you told your team yesterday may not be the case today.
That’s why it’s important to talk about what people can do to prevent COVID 19.
It’s your responsibility to make sure people in your organization are not spreading misinformation.
2. Tell your people what you need them to do.
If you want to save lives, you need to tell your people what they need to do to take care of patients.
That means they need to take care of themselves first.
Tell your team they need to take care of themselves.
They need to protect their own health and their family’s health.
If they’re sick, they don’t need to come to work.
You can’t be afraid to talk about COVID.
It sounds political.
It sounds controversial.
But it’s not.
This is science.
This is biology.
This is healthcare.
Thes are all the things you have expertise in because of the career path you chose.
If you have the education and experience in the subject matter, you should be talking about it.
It’s time for you to step up as a leader.
Share this message with every healthcare leader you know. That’s your job.
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