As many of us start week 6 of our new normal, it is becoming imperative to support employees during this time when there are many unknowns. Our challenges, whether we are small businesses or large employers are all similar due to our limited resources and need to communicate in real time.
Through all of our challenges this first week I have found it to be particularly important to address this crisis with my own team members and employees, especially because our clients are turning to us for guidance on how to maintain healthy workplaces during these times.
Over the course of the last few years we have slowly been implementing a series of strategies to help maintain a vibrant work environment in any situation. We at Lang recommend others follow suit.
While remote work is not an option for all companies, if it is something available to yours, please consider it. Now that we are in a “Shelter at Home,” remote work is the only way for many of our businesses to function. But working from home means more than just giving employees access to emails and phones. It means also having a Remote Work Policy in place that has been communicated to employees. As well as ensuring employees have the right equipment at home that sets them up for a successful work from home (WFH) experience.
Open Honest Communication
We all are experiencing major information overload right now and some of the content may not be valid. So daily we are ensuring our employees know where to go to get the right information and we are guiding them to Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to ensure they have access to the most current information. And if employees have other HR related questions, we are answering them quickly and when we do not know the answers, we are going to our dedicated HR consultant for help.
Also, we have set daily check in times. Each morning our entire team has a video conference call where we check in and see on a personal note how everyone is doing, if anyone needs anything or if anyone just wants to talk. Then we go through any daily announcements, our goals for WFH and any other pertinent announcements. Also, as a leader each day we are sincerely thanking everyone for working hard and focused during these turbulent times. After our whole office huddle, we meet in our teams to discuss anything in further details or to go through any group tasks.
Then each afternoon I make myself available for additional video calls or phone calls should they be needed.
Education and Reminders
Now is the time to be transparent on the importance of physical and mental health. Companies and their leaders need to be educating employees on the “extras” our insurance carriers offer, like – employee assistance programs (EAP) and telemedicine. I want to make sure my employees, my partners employees and my customers are using these benefits they may have forgotten about. The EAP and telemedicine usage in all carriers has gone through the roof over the last 2 weeks.
Also, we are reminding our employees, and ourselves, the importance of self-care. So daily we try to pass a tip like while working from home it is important to take breaks to walk around the house or inside or take a yoga class.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for our new working environment and every employer will have their own policies, culture and creative team-building standpoints. The important thing to consider is making sure our new policies and daily touchpoints are communicated and put in place to serve our people best.
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