Four immediate action steps that organisations should take to help their employees and address their concerns.
With more companies re-introducing their staff back into the workplace it’s important to look at how you are helping your employees who may be understandably cautious.
Focus on the physical and mental health and wellbeing of your workforce.
Allowing for remote work where possible, providing safety training and information, and setting clear guidelines around what employees should do if they get sick are all critical first steps. As a second step, ensure your employees are getting the mental health support they need to cope with the stresses (e.g., work-life balance, social isolation, anxiety) of the pandemic.
Listen to your employees and ask about their concerns.
If you haven’t asked your workforce how they are feeling, what their concerns are, and what kind of support they need during this pandemic, you are missing out on critical information. To find out what your workforce needs now, it is important to give your employees an opportunity to voice their questions and concerns. This can be done through team meetings, department-level discussions, virtual chats, or town halls. Various studies have found that social support increases our resilience and ability to cope. Listening to your employees is one effective way to make them feel supported and learn what they need.
Communicate on a regular basis.
During a crisis, information is critical. By providing your employees with a regular update on everything from the basics (e.g., Covid safety procedures) to the big picture (e.g., how is our business faring), you can help your employees feel informed, empowered, and grounded. As you prepare your communications, be sure to keep your messages clear, transparent and to the point.
Help your immediate managers.
Some managers may not know how to support their employees right now. Considering the magnitude of this crisis, that makes sense. Now is the time to ensure your immediate managers have the information, resources, skills, and support they need to help their direct reports get through what is—for many—a very anxious time.
Meeting the challenges of the day isn’t going to be easy. Now is a defining moment for leaders—especially HR leaders—throughout the organisation. The only way to support your employees while ensuring the long-term success of your organisation is to balance deep empathy with economic realities.
The four steps presented above can help you and your team strike that balance and guide your workforce through one of the most profound global challenges we have faced in decades.
About P3 Business Care
P3 Business Care is a Community Interest Company and social enterprise operating across the UK. Supporting your business on a weekly basis we provide personal and proactive care to your employees working in partnership with the company. Our Business Partners visit your business developing trust & relationships so we can identify and address issues before they become crisis, absence, or staff turnover. Read more about our services here