The current COVID-19 pandemic has hit companies and workers really hard. There are an estimated 66 million Americans out of work due to the crisis, and there is a huge number of companies either going into administration or being very close to it.
It’s a scary time for businesses and employees alike. Two months ago, your employee may have been planning a family vacation to Disney World Florida in the summer. Fast forward to today. and your employee is not only wondering if it’s safe to go outside, but they’re worried about whether they will keep their job, and how long for.
The Bright Side
It’s not all bad news, though. As working from home has become mandatory for many workplaces, some employees – especially the more introverted among them – are thriving in this new environment and becoming the glue that holds the team together.
Some employees love the ability to work from the sofa or their bed, they’re appreciating being able to spend more time with their family and less time commuting, and they’re enjoying being reminded that the little things in life make us happy. It’s important that we, as business owners, remember these revelations in a post-pandemic world.
It’s also important to take into consideration that not all employees will be loving the relative peace and quiet; similarly, not all employees will be gasping to get back into the office.
With that in mind, here are three ideas to keep employees engaged with their work, their team, and the company during the pandemic.
Recognize the Good and the Struggling
There has always been a fine line to walk when managing employee benefits: too many benefits, and employees could begin to see the company as lacking in discipline and focus; too few, and employees feel undervalued.
Right now, it’s worth recognizing employees and going the extra mile for them. Give them incentives to stay motivated, for example, gift cards to local stores or offer to match donations for charity dollar for dollar. Anything that says ‘we’re with you on this’ is good.
Keep Up to Date
Did you know that since the pandemic broke out, the use of video-meeting platform Zoom has skyrocketed 378%? Hot on its heels is Microsoft Teams and, of course, the old-school classic, Skype. Video conferencing has become the new normal for businesses, and many employees are glad to be keeping in touch with colleagues face to face. Why not expand this a bit further and book in a non-mandatory, purely social video call to see how everyone is getting on?
Give Them Some Space
You expect your employees to be fully engaged between the hours of nine to five Monday to Friday, yes? Well, usually, this is manageable, but right now, there’s a lot going on. Recognize that employees are likely to be at home with their families, partners, pets, and all sorts taking some of their focus. They may also be in a position of knowing someone who is sick. Give them some space and a little bit of leeway; this will reduce the stress for both them and for you as an employer.