The current pandemic is scary. No matter how brazen we feel, the world has changed and a lot of people may feel isolated and alienated as a result. They don’t want to get ill. Therefore, they may try to get through it on their own without the assistance of anyone else.
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The problem is, that sort of method can really eat away and leave you feeling alone and unhappy. That’s why if you are the owner of a business, it is more important than ever to check in with how your employees are feeling about the current pandemic. That way, if they have any concerns, you can address them quickly and effectively.
1. Encourage open communication
One of the main things that you need to do is reassure people that they are not alone in their worries. They may be remotely working from home but you should try your best to operate meetings and regular contact sessions where you can simply talk. You may also want to create a direct communication line to your HR department or an anonymous worry “box” (or perhaps an online form) where people can send you messages and you can address their concerns.
The more your employees talk about how they are feeling, the more likely it is that you will be able to address their concerns and make them feel better about their current position. For help with this, make sure to speak about it to an employee well-being firm like LifeWorks.
One of the worst things that you can do during this pandemic is to go overboard with scheduling your employees’ different tasks to complete. This can make them feel nervous and stressed about completing them on top. Yes, you and your employees need to pull together to ensure that your business remains successful. But if you give them too much then this can give your employees the impression that your business is failing due to the pandemic.
Keep calm and remember to keep your employee’s emotions in check when you ask them to complete new tasks. That way, if they are struggling to cope with their worries, as well as the heavy workload, you can find your way around it.
3. Symptoms discussions
It’s important for you to understand that during this pandemic it is very likely that one of your employees, or perhaps someone in their families, will get sick with Covid-19. If that happens, you need to be lenient with them and go through protocol to ensure that they get paid sick leave.
You may also want to have online presentations about Covid-19 to discuss the symptoms and exactly what your employees should do if they get ill.
4. Be understanding about the return to the office
Some of your employees are not going to want to return to the office even after it is deemed safe. You should address their concerns calmly and become flexible with your work plans. It is okay if some people want to continue to work from home and come in for the occasional meeting.
Be gentle and give them the time they need to build up the courage to return. It may take a long time but the pay-off will be worth it if they feel comfortable.