As COVID-19 ushers in a widespread company shutdown order throughout the US, companies that are not considered essential have moved to remote work, if possible. As for the many of us that have made the shift to working from home, there are countless articles giving insight from Best Practices for Working from Home by Entrepreneur.com to The 9 Best Online Collaboration tools for Remote Workers from invisionapp.com. Providing various tips and tools is great but what tips are there for the top-down?Typically when you hear investing, you’re thinking about money but that is not always the case. There is no better time than now to invest in your employees. How can management make their employees feel safe in this time of uncertainty?
Here at BQE, we’ve developed a quick 3 step guide on how to invest in your employees and guide them through this time of uncertainty.1. Be Transparent in Your Communication
Executives who fail to lead by example often leave employees confused about how they should act. Right now the worst thing to do is to keep quiet and leave things to the imagination as gossip spreads fast. Trust that your employees can handle the information whether it’s good or bad. According to an article by Wavelength, “some companies think open floor plans, monthly staff meetings, and detailed reports equate to transparency. But these are just logistics: transparency needs to be core to company values.”
For starters, be transparent about the future: There is going to be a future after this pandemic.
What is your company’s plan when you get back to the office?
Is “Work From Home” going to be the new normal for your company?
Did you offer Friday Lunches and other perks? Will these continue when you get back?
Discuss these changes with your staff. Looking to the future is actually a positive sign for your employees.
If you haven’t created core values here is a great read by Inc. on How to Craft Your Company’s Core Values.
2. Provide Resources for Future Opportunities
Investing in your employees is the smartest thing you can do, advises Entrepreneur.com. Provide them free resources to touch up on skills or branch into new areas of your business. You might realize some co-workers have a knack for marketing or design.
There are also so many free online courses right now that you and your colleagues can take to brush up on some old skill or learn an entirely new skill. Check out the top free classes being offered at Coursera.
3. Be Prepared to Answer the Tough Questions
“When employees are healthy and engaged, they are more likely to be satisfied and productive at work” (How Managers Can Support Employee Mental Health by Glassdoor for Employees). It is a stressful time -- no beating around the bush on that -- so be ready for some difficult questions. Employees will look up to leadership for that guidance.
Have you thought about what you plan to say to a colleague, an entire office staff, or even to your customers? Have you trained your employees on how to effectively communicate or behave when they are face-to-face with clients who may be coughing and sneezing or showing other signs of symptoms in your offices? Protecting your employees and your brand requires thoughtful consideration, planning, and training.
It's also imperative that managers are comfortable speaking with their teams about these issues. Train your managers on how they can effectively communicate these various scenarios to employees.
In the unfortunate event that a member of your company is diagnosed with the virus, be prepared to communicate this information truthfully and sensitively to your staff while still respecting the affected individual’s privacy.
Staying strong for your business and employees is no easy task. Making the right investments now into your employees will ensure you will come out of this crisis with a staff that is willing to fight for you and your company.