How to engage with your employees when the future is uncertain
In just a short time, the latest coronavirus (COVID-19) has had a major impact across the world, forcing countries to close borders, governments to impose lockdowns, stock markets to swing uncontrollably, and businesses to make difficult decisions in order to stay afloat.
More concerning of all are the employees of these businesses that may be stressed and overwhelmed, as they either remain at home or have no other choice but to head into work, especially key essential workers.
Whilst the whole of the UK remains under lockdown for at least another 3 weeks, employers including business leaders, human resource managers, and team leaders have a pivotal role to play in supporting employees and monitoring their mental health.
In this article by Pacific Prime UK, we take a look at how employers can engage and clearly communicate with their employees during this time of uncertainty.
Keep calm, lead the way, and communicate effectively
Millions of workers will undoubtedly be questioning how long they have to cope under these conditions. It can be a hopeless feeling for many employees up and down the country. For those that are fortunate to still be employed, working from home may be a stressful experience. The thought of remaining like so until the government pulls the curtains can cause many to develop mental health problems. This is one thing that employers will want to avoid at all costs.
Thus, employers must project confidence and strength by communicating with employees on a regular basis. Communication is about being transparent and demonstrating clear actions that will inject trust and reliability into employees. In fact, clear and prompt leadership in all shapes and forms, from audio calling to holding conference calls, should be adopted by employers to aid effective communication.
Top tip for employers on how to lead the way
A recommended tip for employers is to provide at least a daily if not weekly update on the plans for employees and the nature of the business. Try including achievements or actions, such as deploying an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or wellness program to help those struggling financially or offering tips for staying healthy from fitness coaches. Keep the updates lively and uplifting, and ensure all management have an input. By showing solidarity, the business can survive and remain strong during these uncertain times.
Listen more, pay close attention, and think twice
Employers should be all ears when employees have a say. As mentioned, solidarity is about pulling together and putting all ideas, solutions, and discussions on the table. Be humble in responses too and don’t over exaggerate when replying. It is important to consider everything that employees feedback to you and step back to carefully assess the information and opinions given.
Be mindful and clear with the responses, never leaving a stone unturned. Also, by showing composure, you are effectively demonstrating to employees that everything is in control. Never let the pressure get the better of you.
Inform employees on how to work from home
Employers should provide the following tips for employees working from home. Not only will they help employees establish a productive work environment, but it will help ensure communication is always possible. Here are some tips to consider:
- Invest in the appropriate tools, equipment, and work setup for employees. Issue employees with devices like tablets or laptops that have all the software, functions, and framework needed to ensure employees can continue with their work effectively.
- Establish a routine that involves calls and follow-ups like a quick 10-minute brief in the morning on a task or just a social catch up. Use this as an opportunity to spend some quality time with employees and keep their spirits and motivation up.
- Advise employees on how to set up their workspace. Have fun discussing ideas, such as creating a corner backdrop, but also advise on proper ergonomics. Remember that maintaining physical health is also important for overall health.
Establish a way of communicating using tools and platforms
There is a tonne of useful platforms and services out there that aim to make communication effective and easy. Tools like Trello and Asana are top all-rounded tools that can help your employees work and connect effortlessly, wherever they are. Skype and Slack are great communication tools for sharing information and checking up on the status of tasks.
With that said everyone should be working on the same platforms to ensure that communication is kept clear, updated, and the same.
A tip for employers on preventing cyber breaches
An essential tip for employers is to ensure that security software is up to date and that information is kept secure or encrypted when sending across platforms. You can arrange a group conference call to hold a webinar or session to teach employees on how to go about remaining safe on the internet, and so forth. Just be advised not to share anything confidential.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, employees working from home should be even more cautious about what they are receiving through their inboxes and communication platforms. Cyber breaches like phishing, malware, and many other cyber issues have increased exponentially.
Try not to panic if this is a sudden concern for you, and consider speaking to an insurance broker like Pacific Prime UK for more information on cyber insurance.
Learn more about Pacific Prime UK’s business solutions
Pacific Prime UK is a division of a much bigger and global workforce that delivers business solutions to business leaders, employers, and businesses of all sizes and industries. What we understand now is the need to educate and guide our clients to ensure that, not only are their businesses protected with solutions like property insurance and cyber insurance, but their employees have access to suitable group health insurance as well.
Fortunately, Pacific Prime UK can provide all these benefits by tailoring a bespoke employee benefits plan that encompasses all your needs and that of your employees.
Just remember one thing – with Pacific Prime, the future is bright!
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