The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted businesses on an unprecedented scale. While the impact on the business due to closures, supply chain breakdowns, need to maintain social distancing, etc. are obvious, the effect on the wellbeing of employees, while not as visible, remains very worrisome nevertheless. There is no denying that life has suddenly become far more stressful and business leaders will need to rise to lead them through this extraordinary challenge, observes Adam Veron, a leading human resource management consultant.
Be on the Active Lookout for Employees Suffering from Physical and Mental Health Hazards
While employers will have sanitized workplaces, ensured physical distancing norms, and tweaked health coverage policies to take care of the physical aspects of the pandemic, they need to keep a sharp eye out for people suffering from mental issues. Take active steps to keep consulting employees how they are faring and make it a point to listen to how they are responding because many people may feel ashamed or awkward to disclose their true feelings. Ask managers to be especially conscious of any behavioral changes in employees so that they can be reached out to promptly with empathy as well as solutions.
Keep All Employees Connected, Advises Adam Veron
There is no denying that many people rely on their interactions with colleagues to stay connected better and when they are suddenly forced to work alone out of home, a psychological crisis can occur. This is the reason why business leaders should spend time and energy to ensure that there are systems in place that can help employees to stay connected even when they might not be able to interact with each other physically. Apart from online events where employees can participate in and enjoy the bonhomie, supervisors should also not only make them available for consultation but also reach out to employees to check out how they are bearing up.
Enhance Engagement and Increase Motivation
In times of crisis, business leaders will need to take the initiative to ensure that employees do not fall prey to a lack of energy and motivation that can make them feel dispirited and mentally weak. They should take this opportunity to communicate how the organization is planning to overcome the crisis and the vital role of each of the employees. Laying down short-term goals will galvanize them to achieving common goals, observes Adam Veron. Business leaders can also take this opportunity to reinforce the ideals and objectives of the business so that people have something positive to focus on and can navigate uncertainty better. There may be many questions where appropriate answers may not be readily available, however, business leaders need to admit it and keep communicating with their staff.
When the times are uncertain, business leaders will have to ensure that they rise to the challenges of keeping their businesses operational, satisfying customers, as well as keeping their employees charged. They also need to fully support people trying to work out of home, many of them for the first time in their lives, with flexible policies, infrastructural support, and learning opportunities that can make them better equipped to face the new normal.