The way we live and work has dramatically changed over the last few months. As the economy is opening up and people are coming back to work, it’s important managers know how to support their employees to ensure their happiness, well-being and job success.
START BY ADJUSTING WORKPLACE CONDITIONS
In this day and age you must prioritize your employees’ health and safety. Follow government’s advice on how to conduct a risk assessment and make your workplace COVID-secure, where possible encourage your employees to work from home. Keep all your team members updated on the latest safety measures. Consult with them regularly to find out what else you could do to make them feel safer and reassured.
SAFEGUARD EMPLOYEES’ MENTAL HEALTH
- Between 20 March and 30 March 2020, almost half of people in Great Britain reported high anxiety compared with 21% at the end of 2019 (ONS).
- In the United States workers say the recent months have been the most stressful time of their entire professional careers, with 62% reporting losing at least 1 hour a day in productivity (HR Executive).
Your employees’ mental well-being has a direct impact on their work; stressed out staff tend to be less engaged and productive.
As a manager, you have a duty to support your team. That includes detecting signs of struggle and supporting their mental health.
Encourage your employees to prioritize self-care and set boundaries. Make them aware of available mental health resources, such as talking to you or company counselors, mindfulness courses online or mental health charities. Your team members might feel embarrassed to talk to you openly about their anxiety or depression, so remind them of the help out there.
MAINTAIN CONSISTENT COMMUNICATION
Your employees are most likely anxious and uncertain about their job situation at the moment. They need to know that the company cares and values them, and that they can always speak about their professional and personal problems with their manager.
Hold regular team meetings to keep everyone updated on the current business situation, policy changes, new project developments, well-being programs, or access to resources.
Keep an “open-door” policy, create a safe space for your employees to raise issues with you at any time. Promote open and honest communication in your team to ensure you all succeed.
MOTIVATE AND INSPIRE YOUR TEAM
You can only motivate and inspire your team if they know what they’re working towards. Set clear goals, make sure everyone knows what the company’s vision and plans for the future are. Show your employees the results of their work to keep them engaged.
Know the strengths of each team member and leverage them to help the entire team excel. Encourage career progression, suggest relevant training to build up their skills. Invest in your employees to give them a reason to stick around.
OFFER ANONYMOUS FEEDBACK
The truth is, no matter how good the relationship with your team members, they might not always be comfortable raising certain issues with you directly. Especially if their problems relate to the management, or they’re very sensitive in nature.
If you’re managing a larger team, it might also be time-consuming to have regular conversations with everyone individually. Some of your team members might still work remotely, so they can’t discuss problems with you face-to-face.
Voice of Employee surveys give your team members frequent opportunities to tell you if they need extra support or training, what they’re struggling with, and how you could help them. Encourage everyone in your team to share their feedback, explain how you’re planning to use it. Address the issues raised in the survey to build team trust and encourage more honest responses in the future.
Get in touch with us to discuss the benefits of VoE surveys for your team and how to deploy them.
TOP TIP FROM AVIUS’ MD, WILL GUNARATNE:
“Accept that people’s circumstances might have changed during the coronavirus pandemic. To support your employees, their mental well-being, and their productivity, offer more flexibility in when and where they work. Encourage a good work-life balance to reduce stress and boost morale in your team.”
By Natalia Kaczmarek