small college

Tips to Help Small-College Leaders Foster Community During COVID-19

COVID-19 has severely affected the whole world. As positive cases and deaths are being reported every day, small-college leaders must take on the responsibility to foster community amid this pandemic. However, due to strict social distancing guidelines, regular face-to-face teaching and learning have moved online. Is it still possible to keep that sense of community?

Here a few tips for college leaders to take the lead and foster a sense of community:

1. Show Empathy

Communities are resilient by nature, but being empathetic towards people in their time of distress can build strong relationships. Showing humanity and being empathetic can go a long way in connecting and engaging with the community.

2. Embrace a Digital-First Mindset

Leaders need to shift towards adopting a digital-first mindset. There are many options like Zoom, Skype, Live streaming, and Google Hangouts that can be utilized to communicate, teach, or stay connected.

3. Relevant and Up-to-Date Communication

Relevant and timely communication with the community is a must. With a lot of misinformation spreading via social channels, the community will look up to their leaders to be a source of factual and essential updates. Communication channels can include live streaming, emails, or social media groups.

4. Increased Responsiveness

While significant numbers of questions are expected, leaders should be quick to respond via emails or other means of communication. Providing reassuring responses, without calling out the crisis, will help reduce concerns and the general sense of helplessness in the community.

5. Plan with a Long-Term Vision

There is uncertainty concerning the pandemic. Leaders need to plan with a long-term vision. They can expand distant learning programs, build IT capacity, and ensure more training for staff and faculty to help their institutions survive the pandemic.

Supporting and helping each other is important during this unprecedented situation. If you are looking for a consulting firm with years of experience and expertise on legal, salary, and other human resources issues, contact the professionals at McKnight Associates, Inc. We are ready to offer you hands-on human resources consulting for colleges, universities, medical centers, and organizations of all sizes.