It has now been more than a month since folks nationwide have been told to stay home, and all but essential businesses have been forced to move their operations online (where possible). The initial shock has since worn off and those employers left standing are facing a new challenge: how to maintain morale and, by extension, productivity as we settle in for what is shaping up to be a long fight. Those who are to survive will need a clear plan for supporting employees in adjusting to this new normal. The following three tips make this task less daunting than it may seem.
Keep it Simple
Especially for those businesses who are operating with a remote or trimmed down team, now is a time to focus on only essential operations. After all, people everywhere are working with limited bandwidth. Kids are at home, school is out, anxiety levels are spiking, and nobody knows when or how this will end.
Think long-term. Your employees will resent being asked to attend to tasks that they know are non-essential when so many other needs are left wanting. The goal right now, as much as staying afloat, is ensuring that when your doors re-open, you’ve got a strong team behind you.
Communicate with Intention
Trust in leadership has never been more important. One of the best ways to nurture such trust is to communicate clearly concerning your company’s position and plans. Expectations should be unambiguous and compassionate (more on that below) and anything COVID-19-related should come from credible sources, such as the WHO and CDC. What’s more, this is the moment to implement a company-wide zero tolerance policy against discriminatory remarks, especially towards Asian colleagues and the virus’s origins.
Related is the importance of listening. Make time to check-in individually with employees, listen to their concerns, and act accordingly. However time-consuming this may seem, your bottom line will thank you (and so will everyone else).
With daycares and schools closed, workers stuck at home, and nerves evermore frayed, now is not the time to run a tight ship. Not all companies can support remote work, but those that can, should. If an employee calls in sick, give them the time they need. Should a deadline slip, don’t fret; find out why and revise any policies that might have impeded productivity.
Bonus: Boost Benefits
Again, trusting that supporting your team will lead your team to support you, consider boosting benefits where possible. This might include:
- More Carry Over Leave. Many companies allow employees to carry-over a specific amount of leave. If you can, push back the deadline on doing so. Not only will this reduce travel during the pandemic, it’ll give teams members something to look forward to. Easy win-win!
- Better Insurance. If you can amp up the insurance your company provides and extend benefits to those who may lack coverage, now is the time.
- Financial Support. Should your margins allow, this is a great moment to provide a small bonus to full-time employees. The gesture won’t go unnoticed, and is sure to pay itself back looking forward
As the COVID-19 pandemic wears on, leaders across all industries are having to redefine their role. This is no easier than it sounds, and not a task to be taken lightly. Accordingly, Hiring & Empowering Solutions has crafted a 66-Day Law Firm Turnaround program addressing leadership development and team empowerment in a virtual program with guaranteed results in 66-days or less. Don’t hesitate to jump onboard!