The stress and anxiety of a crisis, whether it be a global pandemic, a natural disaster or another unforeseen event, affects everyone differently. With strong leadership, tools and guidelines in place and hardworking team members, your organization can come out of this and any future event stronger than ever before. At CHIPS, we’ve compiled five things to consider when it comes to managing employees through a crisis.
Prioritize your team members
Within our organization, we have expanded our policies and procedures to ensure that all clients are able to effectively work remotely. But during this time of uncertainty, it’s important to remember that our organizations and team members are adjusting to the stay at home orders, working from home and social distancing. The satisfaction of your clients depends on the work of your team members, and with the increase of operations, it has become essential that we must ensure our team members that they are being taken care of during this time.
The Right Start off the Bat
The pandemic forced many organizations to send workers home, and in other circumstances, it created new remote employees without preparation or training. Many business owners and employees felt disconnected and uncertain about how to approach their work after shifting from what used to be a routine office day. By setting team members up for success with the right equipment and platforms, while also focusing on mental health, well-being and the importance of social connection, your team is sure to perform up to standards during this unprecedented time.
Setting Up Team Members for Success
The first step to keeping remote workers engaged is having a remote working plan ready to go, but even for businesses that were prepared, not many anticipated this pandemic. Organizations that had remote work plans were able to immediately communicate with their staff sharing new policies as well as information for setting up a workspace, options for any new technology and equipment being used during this time and even strategies for productivity. Equipment, connectivity and a dedicated workspace are essential for your team members so they can continue to operate as business as usual. It’s also important to remember that if you don’t have the necessary tools to work remote, you should invest in them. Such tools include those that will streamline communication and collaboration such as Microsoft Teams or Skype for Business. But it doesn’t stop there, you must continue checking in with your team members regarding equipment needs to ensure your team is able to be productive.
Keep Communication Alive
With news reports that are constantly changing, it’s easy to understand the uncertain feelings many of us are experiencing. Now more than ever it’s important to keep the communication between team members alive. Even more so communication from senior leadership is key. Leadership keeping communication brings a higher focus on the job at hand. Additionally, communication from other key departments during a crisis is also essential.
Focus on Mental Health
For those who are used to working in an office and for those who just are experiencing the feelings of social distancing, now’s the time to make a difference. Team leaders can create social interactions and a sense of togetherness amongst team members through virtual coffee breaks, happy hours and even video meetings instead of just conference calls. Additionally, it’s important to help those who are having a difficult time balancing work and home life especially those who may have children with e-learning demands. Consider flexible working hours or reassess priorities to help during this time. Transparency will allow team members and management leaders to openly understand, trust and provide the needed relief during the many different situations during this time
We’re All in This Together
Remember, work remains one of the main ways people socialize and interact with other people. The organizations that are focusing on strengthening their remote culture, paying attention to their team members’ needs and ensuring that they are providing a supportive environment during this time will be the ones whose employees stay loyal beyond this crisis and through the next one.