The pandemic means a lot of things have changed in people’s lives and turned how many of us work upside down. As of now, the upheaval is seen as temporary, though it may last longer then most would want. What matters now is maintaining structure, consistency, and giving team members the right sort and quantity of attention, appreciation, acceptance and affection, which, in a corporate context, means showing people you care about them and their families at this time. In an office setting a lot of this happens automatically. When working remotely, it has to be more thoughtful and deliberate. Here are a few steps to take:
- Ensure employees do not worry about their financial situation. Commit to all employees receiving their pay and continuation of benefits so that is one less thing to worry about. Remind employees of how critical they are no matter whether their position is deemed essential or non-essential.
- Communicate with employees daily with updates on the status of the pandemic on a local level, and what’s going on within the organisation; keeping them up to speed on key operational changes and responses. Encourage leadership to remain visible with regularly scheduled methods of checking in, using virtual channels, or team meetings, even checking in one-on-one. Ensure there are no issues that may be missed in terms of their wellbeing.
- Share care packages with employees, including hand sanitisers, disinfectants, thermometers, face masks, and messages letting the employees know how valued they are. Ensure they are not only physically okay but also mentally.
- Segment messaging and communication based on the changes that employees are experiencing. For example, for those who now work from home, share tips on being productive at home, and those who are still out in the field, express gratitude for the work they continue to do.
- Communication shouldn’t only come from one person but rather from different members in leadership roles. Hearing feedback from different leaders emphasises that your entire organisation is rallying together at this time. Leaders can continue to express gratitude and highlight the achievements of employees in different departments.
- Take an inventory of employees’ skill sets, as it may be possible to reallocate some employees from an area where they are unable to conduct their work or business as usual to an area of the company which is experiencing constraints and can make use of these skills. Keeping them connected and engaged.
- Involve social media. Your customers are at home as well. Share your company charisma through pictures or videos of your employees working from home. Invite social media fans to share their messages of thanks to your employees especially linesmen who are out in the field. Combine those into a colourful collage to help boost employee morale.