Think your employees are taking this in stride? Think again.
Every day, the world is glued to TV news outlets and websites watching the pandemic numbers rise. As the crisis worsens and businesses slow down and close, anxiety increases. Your workforce, your front line communicators to your clients, are nervously eyeing sinking retirements and basic necessity supply shortages, hoping their own skills remain needed.
Don’t they appreciate the opportunity to work from home?
On the surface, a work-from-home set up is viewed as a “sweet gig,” especially for those normally reporting to an office location. Work-from-home options, in the long run, save companies money by reducing overhead from office space. Employee morale may increase from the flexibility of a home office.
In the age of a pandemic, the novelty of the situation may be short-lived, even for the most seasoned home-office veteran, when combined with the impacts of isolation and social distancing. For a single person, the silence may become deafening; the isolation breeds anxiety. Have a family around? Sometimes the stress of a conference call, while the kids are crying, playing, or requiring help with remote learning leads to frayed nerves and feeling of being trapped.
Focus on your employees to retain your customers.
In the uncertainty, employees produce more while feeling heard and receiving open and honest communication. Managers should be encouraged to reach out to their teams, checking in periodically to maintain awareness of challenges employees are facing, and collaborating on solutions – personal or customer-focused.
Some options for managers to reinforce:
- EAP Programs – Most companies offer the option of EAP with their health plans – often extending to family or household members.
- State or county websites – With many layoffs having happened, programs are available to help pay energy bills, medical bills, etc.
- Workouts – Send a “workout of the day” tip to keep people moving
- Meals – Have a Yammer or Teams site? Why not include a healthy new recipe daily or weekly and have team members contribute.
- Music – Anxiety can often be relieved with music. Share a short playlist to help.
Your human assets are your front line to customer satisfaction – keep them focused and informed to ensure they have the capacity to serve your customers.