You never know how the kind actions you take today might bear benefits in the future. In this crazy era we’re living through, how you treat your employees will be remembered for years to come. You can make a positive—or negative—impact for the foreseeable future on how your employees behave, engage with your company and clients, and how productive they will be. Let’s take a look at some of the problems your employees might be facing right now, and then we’ll look at some ways you can care for them well while also benefiting your business.
PROBLEMS EMPLOYEES ARE FACING
While the virus has struck worse in some places across the country (and world) than others, much of us are feeling the stresses and problems the virus itself has wrought, and secondarily effects of the precaution measures, even here in West Tennessee. Here are a few areas of stress your employees are likely dealing with:
- Health Stress—this is the first thing we think of right now. Our employees, or their families, who are directly affected by COVID-19 are likely going to be down for at least 2 weeks, regardless of the severity of their symptoms.
- Financial Stress—Due to their inability to work because of their own experience with COVID-19, or due to the market being down, our workers are going to be struggling with making ends meet.
- Emotional Stress—Due to the uncertainty of the world around us, we all are feeling uneasy. From the virus precautions to the political uncertainty in the air, the normal footings many of us had are hidden or gone.
- Familial Stress—Those of us with young children at home have the added stress of a new day in education. What are you supposed to do if your child has to be home during the day? What if they’re in school some days and at home others? Or your spouse has been furloughed and the added emotional and financial stress is taking its toll on your marriage?
SOLUTIONS YOU CAN PROVIDE
While it’s not the purview of employers to solve all the problems of their employees, it doesn’t cost anything to care for their wellbeing; and it doesn’t take much of an imagination to creatively provide solutions for some of their problems and stresses. Here are a few things you might consider.
- Allow your employees to work from home. The past few months have revolutionized the way many companies are seeing how they can work together, apart. The outdoor recreation chain REI recently announced that they are looking to sell their brand new headquarters (they haven’t even moved into it yet) because of the positive benefits their company has seen with their employees being able to work from home. Telework could solve a few of the problems we’ve listed. Employees who work from home are not exposed potentially to the virus, they are able to care for children who are also at home doing school, as well as saving money on food and travel. It saves you money in infrastructure costs even if you have to put some budget towards connectivity solutions.
- Offer coverage for diagnostic testing. Check with local healthcare providers, hospitals, and health departments to see if you can help ensure your employees ongoing health (and the health of your other employees and clientele) by paying for their COVID-19 testing. It may be a small cost with a big long term benefit.
- Help employees connect with mental health programs. Social distancing is creating a lot of anxiety and stress for us all. Encourage your employees, both those in the office and those working from home, to continue to be socially involved with each other, even if through Zoom, Google Meet, or Facetime). But it may be that some of your employees need some extra support, so look into mental health programs in your area for private or group consultations in your area.
- Give some grace. What creative ways can you reimburse those working from home? Free lunch once a week? Bag of coffee delivered to their door? Something to show you recognize and appreciate them?
- Host a gratitude challenge. This month-long challenge was a great idea back in 2018, and it till is for 2020! Challenge your team to complete this month of gratitude building—it’ll do wonders for your emotional health!
- Help employees create a daily routine and accountability. Buy them a project management book like David Allen’s Getting Things Done or have a one-on-one meeting with them to talk through their routine and offer help to get them used to your potentially new work culture.
- Open up the floor. Encourage ‘out of the box’ brainstorming sessions via a video meeting so that they are being heard—you may even get some new ideas to help your business thrive!
- Consider paying employees for online education. While your employees are in front of their computer screens at home, help them learn a new skill that will help your business at the same time. Is there a business education course you’d like them to take? Or connect with your clientele better by having them trained in social media digital marketing. You may find it’s the best investment you ever made!
- Don’t play favorites. If some are at home and some in office—ensure equity is top of mind. You don’t want a workplace revolt because you were perceived as favoring the in office workers over those who are at home working.
Now understand, these are just the beginning! There are so many more ideas that can help support your employees as they live under the stresses of this pandemic. If you have any questions on how we might can help you take some actions that will have a big impact on the future of your business, we’re here to help! Give us a call at (888) 272-7102 or write us here. We look forward to helping your business thrive!