The 3Cs: How to help your employees through the coronavirus crisis

  • Date posted

    Mar 24, 2021

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These are strange times. It’s like our lives have been thrown up in the air, with various parts landing in random ways and places.

We know it won’t last forever. But that doesn’t necessarily make things less stressful in the meantime.

As the days and weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown go by, the stress of this upheaval can take a toll. According to Mayo Clinic, long-term stress can lead to increased risk of anxiety, depression, heart disease, digestive problems, weight gain and more.

Trying to help employees through this process can place extra pressure on human resources professionals and others who manage people. It’s important to realize that you can’t “fix” everything for your organization’s employees. That said, there are things you can do to help lead them through the crisis—starting with the “3Cs” of compassion, communication and connection.


Sometimes even small gestures can make a big difference. Every person is in a different situation during the coronavirus outbreak, with their own challenges and worries. By reaching out and offering to be a trusted source of help, you can ease their worries and help them see the light at the end of the tunnel.


Words matter. So does cadence, consistency and tone. That’s why how you say something is just as important as what you say. Keep that in mind anytime you communicate with employees—whether it’s to one individual or your entire organization.

Showing empathy is particularly important. This chart from Chapman & Co. Leadership Institute may help you convey an empathetic tone.


Maintaining a connection with employees is harder than ever—especially if your team works from home. These tips from our founder and CEO, Troy Vincent, may help.

  • Create a visible connection. I keep a picture of our entire company on my desk to remind me of a wonderful memory and to give me a visual reminder of our amazing family at Navigate.
  • Build trust. Establish clear expectations, and allow your team to lead by their actions.
  • Hold virtual meetings. At Navigate, we continue to ask folks to use video as much as possible when meeting.
  • Host a virtual happy hour every Friday. You could give your team a "theme" each week (such as “show and tell” or “where will you go first after the lockdown ends?”).
  • Schedule a regular check-in with each member of your team. This is a good way to set aside time to reach out and listen.
  • Invite speakers. Guest speakers could share stories, discuss lessons learned and celebrate successes. This could be someone from your senior leadership team or someone from outside the organization.
  • Share memorable moments. Use Navigate’s photo gallery feature (located on client dashboards), to add photos of work-from-home (or homeschooling!) adventures. It’s a fun, easy way to strengthen your organization’s wellbeing culture.

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