The COVID – 19 has disrupted the business landscape globally. While we are embracing the new normal of social distancing and remote working, organizations that were resistant to remote working are forced to think differently. Many tech giants like Twitter, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon have been asking their employees to work remotely. Schools are gradually moving from the physical classroom to online classrooms.
While some employees are embracing remote working wholeheartedly, many are struggling to draw the fine line between professional and personal life. Amidst all this chaos, the morale of the employees is steadily decreasing. Will I survive the pandemic? Will I be able to manage to retain my job? Employees are overwhelmed with such questions constantly. And with the children and elderlies being at home their daily routines are jeopardized.
While it is true that businesses can’t stop operating because of the pandemic, they can’t get their employees to work in such a state of panic. At this challenging time, HR leaders have the most crucial task to play — to boost their employee morale.
Tips to keep employee morale high
- Time to test your leadership skill
Employees look up to their leaders especially during the time of crisis. So, as being a people’s person, you need to be calm and composed while keeping constantly with your employees. Be transparent, be proactive, and be honest in all your communications.
With so many rumors and fake news floating around, employees are unsure which one to trust. At this time, they look up to their employers for affirmation. Always ensure to share updates related to the pandemic only from trusted sources like WHO, CDC, and MyGov.in for India specific updates.
- Make it a mindful morning
Start the day with a mindful exercise. For example, Criteo is doing virtual relaxation workshops to help their employees detox their mind to start the day. You may want to adopt this practice as well. You may also ask your employees to lead this session by taking turns.
This ensures all the employees are engaged, get to practice mindfulness, and you don’t need to allocate dedicated resources to conduct such sessions.
- Stay connected, at the time of social distancing
Working remotely is different than working on the premises. You are not able to see how your employees are feeling and doing in general. Ensure you are connected to them even virtually. Conduct team hurdles and one-on-one sessions regularly to understand their professional challenges.
While remote working might not be new for some veterans, it can be challenging for a few. If you find an employee is struggling to maintain a balance, empower them to cope with the situation better.
- Relook at your policies
If you had a stringent work policy then it is now time to relook at them. Remember, remote working is posing tough challenges in families especially with children. Schools and day cares being closed, employees now need to walk on a fine rope balancing work and family constantly.
It is now time to practice empathy and revise your work policies. Bring in flexibility in the work schedule if possible. Managers now need to trust their employees more than ever, treat them with dignity, and care about their needs.
- Educate and mitigate the risks
While traveling is restricted in most countries now, employers should ensure that no employees need to travel unnecessarily. Employers should also ensure that while some employees can work remotely, certain job roles cannot be done remotely. The onus lies with the employers to ensure the safety of their people.
While many employees are getting ready to return to work, it important that they are trained and communicated well on the new rules of safety. Don’t be too preachy but make it a fun training session. For example, you may want to run a hand wash contest among the employees returning to work.
This is fun and also ensures that your employees are aware of the right way to wash hands! And yes, it certainly boosts team morale.
- Take care of learning and development
As a business you might have to make some tough decisions amidst the pandemic by streamlining your work process. This means an employee might need to wear many hats. Ensure your employees are up skilled and trained to go through this transformation.
- Give mental health a priority
Each one of us is passing through a stressful time which may take a toll on mental health. Ensure you and your employees are giving mental health a priority. Arrange for counselling sessions if necessary. Encourage your employees to practice yoga and meditation to stay calm amidst this global chaos.
While you continue to run your operations, you need to ensure that your employee morale are kept high because we know for sure that this too shall pass.
What are the measures your organization is taking to boost employee morale during the time of COVID – 19? Let us know in the comments.