As the variable created by COVID-19 continues to derange work environments, business leaders must be heedful of how they can improve employee’s mental health and morale. The global pandemic is on a level that we never anticipated before and most likely did not plan for. Closedown is occurring at nearly all physical offices around the world and plenty of employees are turning to work remotely. If your company has allowed its employees to work remotely, as HR, you need to take steps to make sure employees’ productivity continues during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The impact of the coronavirus has taken a serious toll on employees’ professional, social, and personal lives. Great health fears and job uncertainties have resulted in confusion, anxiety, and low morale. Hence, if HR and managers don’t take any pacifying solutions, these concerns can break employees’ motivation to work, which will result in low productivity, substandard quality of work, errors in tasks, and hugely impact on organization’s skill to function effectively during tough times.
HR must do its responsibility to maintain employee deliverables by helping team managers with creative ideas to ensure employees get the necessary support during distressing times.
Flexibility is crucial during these times. From dealing with day-to-day workloads to adjusting employee performance assessments, leaders should consider the challenges people are managing in balancing their work lives with their personal lives. This is very applicable for working parents and other caregivers.
Have a Two-Way Communication Process
If you want to make sure employees are listened to and not hurt, managers should have two-way communication with their employees. This type of communication process makes for a complete communication process. Allowing employees to speak about their dissatisfaction, managers and peers can gain a better understanding of an employee’s negative emotion from an employee’s point of view. They would be able to come up with a solution that can work best for the employee. When it comes to great HR support, you need to assist managers to provide a two-way communication channel between employees and managers about the good and bad consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
Employees Are Your Top Priority
It’s true that employees come first. No matter the situation, if they are not happy, their conflict can affect customer service and other work-related activities. The manager should identify what motivates employees and what changes do they want to make. HR is responsible for opening channels of communication between managers and employees and provide a safe environment for open feedback and the transfer of ideas.
Acknowledge Employee Efforts
Due to the effects of the pandemic on businesses, some employees work double to keep up with business standards. The event has resulted in disruption in work and cut down on employee engagement. This is why it’s important for managers to praise recognition efforts. Recognizing their efforts not only pushes them to do their best but also sends a powerful message to other employees in the organization who can follow the same behavior.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that the recognition must be monetary, it can also be in the form of public acknowledgment, a token of appreciation, low-costs perks, shout-outs, or a nice and short thank-you message. Managers need to offer development opportunities to everyone for better positions and long-term success of the employee.
Innovation and Creativity
During these tough times, managers and employees are more subject to risk-taking and uncertainties. This is the time that employees become more creative and innovative to come up with solutions to critical issues. Employees call upon different techniques needed for the organization’s improvement and victory. Although there can be budget constraints for financial crunches, managers should encourage great ideas to management and have it approved.
Remain Virtually Social
Human beings are naturally social creatures and to meet and greet with colleagues becomes a common task. With the everyday amount of work, managers should look for ways to connect their team members. Whether it’s Zoom, Skype, Google meetings, or conference calls, members of the team must be able to participate. Make sure everyone is present in one forum to bridge any team gap and provide smooth communication. HR and the IT team can initiate steps for employees and managers to remain connected.
It’s important for people to be conscious of their mental state. Why? Productivity occurs when people can reduce their stress levels. Promote self-care for employees and help them build it into their routine, whether it’s a walk in the sunshine, contact with loved ones or spend some virtual some time with employees. Workers should not forget to get a full social life too! After work hours, they can watch a good movie, cook a meal, or just relax.
The actions that every company is Hrmaking should have a long-term reputational impact. HR and managers should continue to show empathy and flexibility, putting workers’ mental health first, and creating psychological safety. All of these can have a meaningful impact not only on the experience of employees but also on how the employer is perceived going forward.