The pandemic has impacted every industry, organisation, and business operation. The unprecedented changes have affected many aspects of our lives, from social distancing practices to lockdowns. It is no surprise if employees feel frustrated and unhappy.
Many have dealt with losing their colleagues or loved ones, feeling unsafe, dealing with financial challenges, and other personal struggles. And while some employees may be familiar with working from home, many may be dealing with uncertainty, isolation, and all kinds of unfamiliar challenges.
In this challenging new world when these changes and challenges are the norm, it is important for employers to be looking after their employees and offering them sincere support. At all levels.
It may sound simple, but communication is absolutely vital to effectively manage people and yet can often be overlooked. Regular communication is not just about listening – although this is crucial too – it is about responding and letting employees know that you are listening and reacting to what they are saying.
Be transparent and genuine
Organisations should take this opportunity to re-focus on their core values and remind employees of these values. This will help promote trust and create a real arena of collaboration. The personal touch always helps in any business, so where possible, reach out to employees so they feel that they are appreciated and valued.
Make room for continuous feedback
This is part of communication deserves to be stressed upon. You can make employees feel valued by asking for feedback, and not just once, but regularly. Surveys and questionnaires are a great way for employees to communicate their feelings to an employer and many businesses now offer a permanent platform where employees are encouraged to give feedback. You can use those tools as well as personal interactions.
Create engaging activities
Encouraging your people to engage with each other helps create a healthy workplace culture. Think about developing daily activities and experiences that people can take part in whether as individuals or in groups and how you can also develop virtual innovative activities that will keep the employees engaged.
Such activities can be helpful in creating stronger bonds and better connections between people, which in turn makes for a happier more productive workforce.
Have the right tools in place
It is important for an employer to enable teamwork and collaboration. Employees need adequate tools to be able to proceed and operate at a normal pace. Leaders should provide employees with clear, set realistic objectives, as well as the roadmap, and the technological and communication tools needed to achieve them.
Empower and motivate
During uncertain times people need the most support and motivation. While leaders may be struggling themselves, it is important to always encourage and motivate your people. It is critical recognise their achievements no matter how small and keep a system that celebrates those accomplishments.
Help your team manage their time
In this new age of working from home, it is more important than ever to cultivate a good work-life balance in terms of clearly articulating team norms. This includes highlighting when working hours stop at home to efficiently manage time. Make sure people have clearly set expectations and timelines, provide guidelines on how to plan and estimate time better as well as introduce time management tools and offer guidance on further training or education where necessary.
Protect against external threats and promote justice
It is important that employees feel safe in the workplace, so a solid structure needs to be in place, to ensure that people know what to do if they feel their safety and wellbeing either physically or mentally, is under threat. Hopefully, it will never be needed but it is vital that your people know it is there.