Four ways employers can show their employees they care
With employees enduring pressure to perform remotely, organisations should be thinking about innovative ways to continue fostering a sense of community even if it has to be done virtually. Anxiety is at an all-time high, so it’s vital that employees’ spirits are kept high during a time of unprecedented stress.
The lines of work and home have blurred significantly, so employers should move vigilantly and be flexible with how they can adjust their communications, internal engagement activities and employee support to reflect the new normal.
If you’re unsure of where to start, here are four ways employers can underscore their support for their staff:
Create a virtual office culture
Use this time to create the office culture that you wish you had before the pandemic hit. Consider kicking-off the work week off with a standing Monday coffee meeting and end the week with a virtual happy hour. Encourage your staff to not answer emails outside of work hours and give them the opportunity to log off early on days before a long weekend. For some – every day is now ‘Bring your Kids or Pets to Work’ day; consider integrating them into your office culture. For example, LinkedIn hosted a sing-along session for 85 of their employees’ children.
“We’re creating peer coaching groups to connect people of similar roles across the group globally, thereby creating space for people to connect outside of their day jobs, share challenges and problem solve together” - Indy Lachhar, Group Talent Development Director, Robert Walters Group.
Create opportunities for connection
If your organisation is using Slack, Workplace, Microsoft Teams or another internal business communications tool, you could amend helpful links to resources with hashtags to create a stronger sense of community while sharing tips, such as #WFHTipsAndTricks, #ParentDiaries, and other important topics that may be affecting your employees.
Help your people keep healthy
Company gym subsidies and cycle-to-work schemes have likely been put on the backburner given the pandemic. Consider supplementing the existing health benefits you have in place with a regular programme of health, wellbeing and mindfulness activities such as online fitness classes and guided meditation sessions. Remember these programmes are only effective when your employees attend – senior leadership should encourage their staff to take advantage of these programmes and advocate for them to block our time in their diaries to take part.
Repeat, repeat and repeat it again. In a time of crisis, high anxiety, stress and an entirely remote work environment can severely hinder employees’ capacity to absorb information. How your employees require information downloaded to them will change in a time of crisis, so organisations need to respond to follow suit. There’s plenty of misinformation and negative information that we encounter in our headlines every day, so organisations must communicate transparently and positively with information following government guidance.
In a time of crisis, actions speak louder than words. Employees will remember how they were treated during this time. From hello to being let go, every interaction will be scrutinised, so it’s vital that organisations stay true to what they stand for and treat people like humans and not another number on the books.