Even as your employees may seem to be settling into their new routines, attending meetings using video-conferencing from home, and maintaining social distancing, it is quite clear that there is an increased level of anxiety about how they are going to fare in the strange new order. As a business leader, it is more important than ever to rise to the challenge of keeping your business humming by making sure that your employees continue to be productive and happy individuals. Adam Veron shows a few techniques that can demonstrate to your employees that you value them even as you continue to engage and inspire them.
Keep Your Team Informed to Build Trust
Reach out to your employees to make sure that they are safe and well. Be clear about the changes you have enforced, steps you are taking to restore normalcy, what you expect them to do, and in turn, what they can expect from you. Keep informing your employees at regular intervals because a prolonged silence can only breed more anxiety and fear. Set up helpdesks and encourage your employees to reach out whenever they want to ask questions, share concerns, and give feedback.
Appreciate That Some Employees Don’t Work Well in Isolation
Working alone at home can make some people feel isolated and unproductive, and there is every chance that these people may get depressed and disengaged. You can help them to beat this by encouraging them to come to the office in small groups or get together informally. This will help them remain productive and bolster their feeling of belonging and self-worth, observes Adam Veron.
Be Considerate with Employees with Family Issues
Working from home is not the same as working from the office, especially in a situation where schools and daycare centers may be shut. With kids and pets running about, it can be quite challenging for many workers to remain relaxed and productive. It can get especially tough for people to do everything that they would have got done through other people, including hired help. You can help these people to perform better by offering them flexible timings so that they can attend to household responsibilities and then do their office work.
Foster Networking between Employees, Advises Adam Veron
One of the important aspects of coming to the office is that employees have the opportunity of meeting and mingling with others. When you are forced to work at home, the absence of these relationships can cause stress and feelings of isolation. You can help your employees to reach out to others and continue to have meaningful relationships with their colleagues virtually or whenever possible, by meeting physically. Ask for volunteers and ideas for boosting employee engagement from all the stakeholders.
When employees are feeling depressed, fearful, and stressed, it becomes even more important for business leaders to walk the extra distance to make employees feel appreciated. Take the time and effort to thank them for the effort they are putting in despite the circumstances and show your appreciation in several small gestures like calling them on their birthdays and anniversaries, sending them takeaway vouchers or groceries, or highlighting special achievements in company newsletters.