We are still in the COVID pandemic, but like Broadway, the show must go on, which means work isn’t stopping.
With more information available than at the beginning of the pandemic, we are starting to see some positive outcomes of COVID-19 finally, but the need to still practice social distancing is suffocating office morale.
Vaccines are bringing promise and light to what has been globally a dark time. However, for employees, entrepreneurs, and large corporations, this unique time has brought unique opportunities.
Recommendations for Employers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Setting, discussing, and enforcing COVID-19 safety precautions to keep your employees safe is essential. With that understanding, it is equally important not to allow safety measures to take a toll on the energy in an office.
Whether you and your employees are in the office or are continuing to work virtually, not checking in with your team can cultivate a dreadful and nonproductive atmosphere.
So how do you keep up the energy when everyone’s anxiety affects work-life and no one is physically around?
Well, the fact that you’re asking means you’ve already taken a step in the right direction.
Give Your Team Security–and Insurance Benefits
The last thing employees want is the virtual version of a work pizza party. People are worried about the tangibility of providing for themselves and their families, so instead of offering small incentives, give them security.
Security can be a variety of things, from job security to benefits such as workers’ compensation. Make sure you find out what would provide your team with the most peace of mind.
Update Your Tech
In the wake of the pandemic, the companies that have succeeded the most weren’t afraid of a bit of innovation and good marketing. Staying connected while working virtually won’t work with traditional emailing.
Video conferencing and tools such as Slack, Asana, and even social media allow you to communicate in real-time about specific topics.
Use available technology to improve systems you had in place pre-pandemic. If you try to make your old structure fit into unforeseen circumstances, you’re likely to leave your team frustrated and confused.
Show Your Employees That You Care
Remember that these unprecedented times could present personal obstacles you may not know about. Show employees that you care about them by being understanding. Give some more time off, bonuses, or any other forms of compensation you can afford as an employer.
Set up programs to help improve their lives or even change policies that could be causing unnecessary strain. The more loyal you are to better your employees’ quality of life, the more loyalty and dedication you will get in return.
A list of areas to consider that help improve employee’s quality of life may include:
- Better health care coverage
- Free food (could be done via food delivery apps)
- Gym, spa, or health discounts and benefits
- Paid time off for vaccinations
Give Your Team What They Want
You shouldn’t be shooting in the dark or grasping at straws with ideas to keep up morale. Whether you can still work in person or are working remotely, your employees have likely already expressed their wants or even dislikes.
The last thing you want is for office discontent to follow your team home with them. If there are suggestions or grievances your employees have expressed in the past, show some initiative to change them.
If you’re unsure of what could make your employees happy, ask them. Create anonymous surveys asking simple questions and giving them a safe space to voice opinions honestly.
Remain open to your employees’ criticisms and know that they are voicing concerns because they want to be with your company. When employees no longer wish to express themselves or put effort into changing their workplace for the better, the easier it is for them to leave.
Become More Charitable
Giving back is rewarding and reminds us of what we’re fortunate to have. Charitable goals can bring a team together while providing participation options to adapt to anyone’s comfort level and ability.
You can even give your team a say by having them vote on what kinds of charities they want to help or donate to. By giving back, you’re instilling your team with a sense of purpose and pride for where they work. In addition to that, you’re connecting your team and brand with your local community, which is more effective than any paid advertising.
Find Ways to Have Fun
It is likely that virtual offices will stick around after COVID-19, so find ways to stay connected both physically and virtually. Employees who may be missing office socialization find some time in the busy work-day schedule for something decompressing.
Create a game, theme, or friendly competition to keep up spirits and team goals. It may give you and your team adolescent summer camp flashbacks, but the emotional impact will outweigh any shy hesitations.
In hard times finding any reason to celebrate can feel like a much-needed breath of fresh air.
Take the COVID-19 Precautions Seriously
An ample reason causing discontent in the workplace is employees feeling like their employers aren’t taking enough COVID-19 precautions to help keep them safe. Regardless of how you think about regulations set by your state, the World Health Organization (WHO), or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), listen to any concerns your team has.
Your team won’t work well if they feel concerned about their safety or potentially passing COVID-19 to potentially vulnerable loved ones.
How to Protect Employees From COVID-19
In many ways, protection against COVID-19 comes from communication and execution.
When working virtually, supporting your team by giving them time to make their own choices is all the protection they need. If you’re bringing your team back to work in person, be sure to provide any needed supplies and make any and all workplace standards known.
The foundation of the American dream is creativity, and the hurdles that COVID-19 has created provide the opportunity for all of us to be the most creative that we’ve ever been. The test of true entrepreneurs and innovators is adaptability, and though we as a nation have been set back, we have not been stopped.
Use this particular time to bond with your team. Be there to support them and trust that they will support you when you need it to.
Danielle Beck-Hunter writes and researches for the car insurance comparison site, CarInsuranceComparison.com. Danielle has been a part of leadership teams and studies from a young age and has held leadership positions in multiple lines of work.