The ongoing covid-19 pandemic has completely changed our lives. Making mandatory and common-sense changes in our lifestyle to prevent the spread of the disease has been anything but ardours. Employers now have to face the task of creating an environment that is safe, supportive and is considerate of the emotional struggles employees may be going through due to the pandemic.
Regardless of how your work has transitioned, whether remotely or back to the office, it is important to set in place plans and resources to help support your employees during the pandemic. Here are some ways to do this:
1. Appreciate Your Employees
We all love to be recognised, praised and appreciated for our work. So showing small acts of affirmation as a way to thank them for the job done can be a great motivator. Go further with visible acts like highlighting their accomplishments in group meetings, or mentioning how well they worked in the presence of managers or senior leadership. This kind gesture can make employees feel proud, acknowledged and validated.
Related article: Employee Appreciation Day: 6 Ways to Show Your Co-workers You Care
2. Provide Personalised Support
Seeking to understand the peculiar circumstances of employees can help to provide individualised support that drives them to accomplish work goals. Everyone is responding to the pandemic in their own unique way and frequently checking on employees can show empathy and awareness of their peculiar challenges. But besides just knowing their situation, finding out how these things can affect their work performance and providing a structure to accommodate their needs will help to make employees feel less stressed and have more positive feelings toward their leaders and team.
3. Make Them Part of Decision Making
Even in these uncertain times where decisions are intensely scrutinised, acting on decisions suggested by employees can help boost their work experience. Even seeking everyone’s opinion on matters during meetings, and including them in discussion builds trust and confidence in their abilities and makes them feel treated as insiders in the organisation.
4. Designate Time and Space for Team Bonding
Create team bonding opportunities like virtual coffee breaks, lunches, story sharing time, and even games played over zoom. These activities help everyone loosen up, relieve stress, help co-workers get to know each other in an informal setting, and boost their work performance. When employees feel that they belong to a close-knit team rather than just being individual contributors, they are confident their peers are always beside them and are driving towards the same targets together.
5. Assign New Tasks
While this might seem counter-intuitive given that a crisis can stretch people’s mental bandwidths, assigning new responsibilities to employees can create a sense of empowerment even when the organisation is scrambling to meet the challenges of the pandemic. These tasks can include taking on managerial duties when the supervisors in charge are overloaded with work or being asked to provide help to co-workers due to work experience or skill level. Entrusting new tasks to employees can boost their confidence and create a chance to know their colleagues better.
The covid-19 pandemic has not only been about the negatives but on a positive note, it has allowed employers to create an inclusive and supportive environment for their teams. While some of the things listed in this article may come naturally to you, others may not, but as you continue to support your organisation’s employee wellness, the best approach is to focus on the areas of strength and steadily practice the more difficult ones. This is the best leadership you can offer in these trying times.