It’s been a harder year than most and for many in the US, and around the world, a concerning spike in COVID-19 cases is causing lockdowns to be reissued. In some stores, shelves are reminiscent of the March rush for toilet paper and hand sanitizer. For employees, this time has been hard as well. Some employees were furloughed with the hopes that when things got better, they would be rehired. And even though vaccines have begun to be distributed, the concern that the vaccine might not reach everyone who needs it is a valid one. For employees with children, having to homeschool and get work done as well has tested limits. Throw in the notoriously stressful holiday season, and it is obvious that employees need more support than ever. In this post, we’ll be talking about how employers can support employees during this uncertain time.
Check on isolated individuals
If you have employees who are single and isolated without any family to interact with, your company can show that they care by reaching out to this individual.
They most likely endured the holidays on their own and are feeling an even greater sense of isolation than ever before. Find out if they would like company a couple times a week (virtual or socially distanced of course).
Even though you may not be able to meet in person, interacting with these people who are isolated can help reduce loneliness.
Provide the tech they need
At the beginning of the pandemic when most workers were sent home to work from home, some were outfitted with the necessary technology. In some cases, it may not have been feasible for the company to do so.
Whatever the case is, check in with your employees to make sure they have technology that is working so that they can submit their work on time.
If there are “tech bonuses” you can supply so that your employees can keep up, this helps too.
One of the areas that have been exposed by the pandemic is the reality of a childcare crisis in America.
People have had to lose their jobs because of how difficult it is to try to be a fully-present parent while still meeting the same expectations at work. If your company can afford it, provide your employees with a childcare bonus to help ease the pressure of having to pay for childcare while they attend to work.
There are also employees who have to take care of their elderly loved ones and have an added burden on them during this time. This is an excellent opportunity to support those employees as well.
A recent report in The Economist , showed that while working from home has meant that people no longer have to commute to work; the long commutes have been replaced with endless emails and video meetings.
This has lengthened the workday for a lot of people. A powerful way to support your employees is to have shorter meetings. If the announcement can be made via email or a recorded video message sent to everyone on the team do that instead.
Sitting at a screen for 1 hour can be stressful and may not even be as effective as you think when that same employee has to be in four or five meetings each day.
Your employees will appreciate you for minimizing stress by cutting the length of meetings down.
Mental health services
A mentally healthy employee is a productive employee. This has been a hard year for everyone.
People have lost loved ones and they may have been sick from the virus themselves. The sense of anxiety people feel as the economy has been shaky is also real.
And with these come mental challenges. Employers can support employees by providing extra mental health services or by even highlighting services that are already available but which most employees don’t know how to take advantage of.
Using your employee wellness platform, you can support employees by providing opportunities for them to work out.
Hosting a virtual workout session with local personal trainers is one idea that benefits both your employees and a local business owner. The pandemic ushered in a new economy where although employees want good jobs, they also want to feel heavy support from their employers.
By showing that you care in the ways listed above, you become a preferred employer for whom workers are happy to do their best.