Ways to support employees during tough times

04 Jun 2020

As the world goes through the motions of fighting against COVID-19, businesses may face a possible long-term change in work practices. As work practices have gone online, policies and managing styles have to be adjusted to keep up with the new norm. Going online can also mean new forms of workplace bullying or slights can appear and the impersonal nature might further hinder employees from speaking out. Let's look at the ways management and HR can help support employees with new forms of workplace issues during this pandemic.

Keep communication channels open As managers meet employees through devices, it can be difficult to ascertain from body language or tone if something is wrong. To avoid workplace grievances from accumulating, managers can actively promote an open communication culture within the team. The team leaders can also set up regular one-on-one meetings and have a chat with their colleagues - just like having a conversation catch-up in the pantry before.

Share and create solutions as a team It always takes time for employees to start speaking up. One of the ways managers can get them to open up is to share the issues that have been faced by other teams and ask if they are facing similar problems. Then, discuss the best ways to resolve the issues together and provide guidance on who are the right people to talk to or assign a task force if it is a more significant issue that needs investigating. Another tip is to avoid over-communicating and to set clear deadlines so the team can be motivated to bring up issues.

Remind employees of business goals COVID-19 did not just affect work, but our personal lives as well. Thus, it is not surprising that people's attention has shifted to home life such as caring for their elderly loved ones or kids coping with cabin fever. Team leaders can initiate bonding sessions to share personal difficulties, and if the budget allows, deliver some care packages or gift vouchers to the employees. By improving the moods and morale of the team, managers can redirect their renewed energies towards business objectives and targets.



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