Covid 19 - Helping your employees navigate through this unprecedented situation
As the Government continues to tighten its guidance around covid-19, there’s no denying that this is having a major effect on individuals across the World, with many businesses either forced to adapt new working-from-home models, or in fact close altogether - a situation that will undoubtedly spark a range of financial wellbeing issues for many individuals.
Indeed, for those working from home, the idea of enforced working may cause loneliness, disconnection and potential FOMO – that is there’s a serious fear of missing out from what’s going on in the office, such as, information sharing and colleague interaction. People may feel as though there are more hours in the day to fill because there’s no travel, no conversation, etc.
A situation much worse for those who cannot work from home at all. Workers in industries such as hospitality and retail for example, whose jobs are centred around public interaction and relationship building, may quite simply be unable to work at all throughout this time, making it a very confusing and uncertain period for many.
Either way, it is evident that this unprecedented situation will exasperate a range of wellbeing issues for individuals across the globe - from the requirement to quickly adapt working patterns, and the perceived need to keep busy and be productive to the looming financial insecurity as a result of work closures, pay cuts, or potential unemployment, there is no denying that this period of ‘self isolation’ is going to be a very challenging time for many of your staff.
So, what can you do to give your employees the best possible chances of coming out of Covid-19 as mentally healthy as possible?
First, for those who are ‘fortunate enough’ to offer their staff home-working opportunities, take a look at some of the top points Purple Cubed suggest to help you navigate throughout this unchartered territory of home working as delicately as possible:
- Breathe: be aware that whatever you’re going through, your people are suffering as much if not more than you are in their own way. Even if you feel like screaming, your job is to focus on acceptance, resilience, determination, adaptation and action so you can support your people through to the other side.
- Empathy: it’s human nature to resist change let alone deal with something as significant as the fallout of Covid-19. You’re in this together so work together on the ‘ground’ rules and best way forward and put yourself in ‘other people’s shoes’.
- Clarity: work out what the new priorities are and exactly how everyone will play their part. Just saying ‘work at home’ without thought and direction will send many into a stress-entrenched tailspin. Be clear about what’s expected, how things will work and let people know to expect updates and modifications on a daily basis.
- Trust: those who are still micro-managing will find it difficult to let go. Focus on outputs and work hard on learning to trust people to get on and do what they need to without checking in on them all the time. Remember you employ responsible adults so expect the best of them.
- Workspace support: give people advice on how best to work remotely. Do as much as you can to ensure they have at least the basics of what they need to work as healthily and safely as possible.
- Flexibility: different people perform best at differing times and durations of working so allow them to take advantage of the crisis by enjoying more freedom to choose how they work. Establish any ‘contact
- Communication: this is a biggie. Make sure that any message that goes out centrally is clear, unambiguous and consistent across the organisation. You might want to set up a central place that people can go to find out the latest information, such as an online platform.
- Collaboration: find ways to make sure people don’t miss out of team communications and the ability to work together. You can do this by having an optional ‘daily dial-ins’ at a set time and by making sure there’s a forum for people to go to chat online on your comms platform. And this is an excellent time for people to dial into learning webinars and the like.
- Feedback and support: It’s demoralising to work hard, and no one notices so organised report back systems so you can see when people have completed their projects and give them recognition and feedback. Also make sure people know there’s support available if they need help, guidance or just to chat to a human.
- Monitor: check in with your people specifically around their wellbeing and ensure they know where to go for support.
For those clients of DAM who are faced with even greater difficulties throughout this time, due to looming pay cuts and redundancies, we offer our greatest sympathies and want to offer our financial guidance and support for you and your employees throughout this time.
To end, we hope this quote from Kitty O’Meara helps to inspire, and provide a small sense of hope in this unprecedented situation:
“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”