Managers have always played an important role in their employees’ well-being, perhaps never more so than now in the middle of a pandemic. Employees are understandably worried about job stability, their company’s future, and the economy’s health.
Now is the time for managers to be strong, reassuring, and empathetic.
Here are the main ways managers can create conditions that are conducive to success:
Check-in often with employees
Managers should check in on every employee as often as practical. That’s more important than ever before because so many employees are working remotely and might be struggling with depression or the loss of social structure brought about by telecommuting. The check-in should be more than a simple hello. Ask sincerely how the employee is holding up and listen closely to the answer. Let them know how important they are to the company’s success and that the virtual door is always open.
Each employee has different needs and situations. Some might be trying to work from home while watching over children who are learning remotely. Some might have other child-care issues. Some might want to come into the office, even if for a day or so here and there, to try to regain a semblance of normalcy. If employees have returned to the workplace, you might need to stagger shifts to follow social distancing guidelines and allow for cleaning and disinfecting the office. Be flexible to allow employees to use vacation time, and other paid leave.
Focus on mental health
Experts say mental health issues have soared since the onset of the pandemic. They include stress, anxiety, and depression, leading to alcohol use, domestic violence, and even suicidal thoughts. Managers need to focus on what they can do to help mitigate these issues, whether undergoing training to deal with employees who are struggling or providing resources such as an employee assistance program via the company’s healthcare provider.
It could be a few years or longer before things get back to where they were before the pandemic struck. Be mindful that you might not be able to measure productivity and output as you did before. Staffing levels might have changed or could change soon. With employees facing so many more challenges than before, don’t overburden them with unrealistic expectations.
Staffing Resources is a top provider of workforce management, staffing, and temporary services in Indiana. To find out how we can help your company, contact us today.