December 21, 2021
The pandemic is a perplexing time for employees around the globe. Having feelings of anxiety and job insecurity became the norm as worldwide economies took a turn, causing a domino effect of insolvency and unemployment. As employers, it is of utmost importance to keep an open avenue of honest communication where everyone can exchange ideas, feedback, or concerns. Communication breakdown is a common side effect of remote work in the workplace. But, through constant and creative efforts to keep the workplace relationships strong, it can be avoided.
Open conversations on physical and mental well-being.
The global pandemic made several significant impacts to everyone in terms of physical and mental health. Apart from the devastating physical toll of the virus to the global population, it has resulted in feelings of stress, anxiety, loss, and panic. In the context of the labor force, employees gained a heightened sense of job insecurity following the economic crash in their respective countries. To fix this issue, it’s important to start conversations regarding physical and mental health. Managers must create a space where employees could candidly discuss their concerns. Employers can also give helpful advice regarding remote working, such as establishing routines and keeping a time-bound work day. Additionally, the management can promote organizations that hold seminars about physical and mental health issues.
Keep your employees empowered by assigning new tasks.
While morale may be lower during the pandemic, studies show that employees feel more recognized when given new responsibilities as this shows trust in their capabilities. Creating variations on added tasks could help in breaking overused routines as well, so it would be best to incorporate collaborative activities, mentoring work, or remote work guidance.
Highlight the importance of self-care.
As employees deal with a sense of panic regarding their jobs, it is crucial to give significance to proper self-care. Oftentimes, employees would compromise their sleep and general health to make work deadlines. To counter this, employers must respect boundaries in their work schedule for a proper work-life balance despite working outside of the office. Journaling is also a great way to keep track of goals and positive things as a reminder of better days despite the pandemic. Encouraging employees to exercise and meditate through online workout or yoga groups could also greatly improve their physical and mental health.
Create fun breaks in between remote work.
Schedule creative breaks in between work to lighten up the workplace. The management could start conversations on hobbies such as the latest movies, sports, or new tech. To take it a step further, the employers can start show-and-tell activities such as a virtual “bring-your-pet-to-work day”. This way, employers could get to know their employees better outside of their work responsibilities.
Encourage taking part in charity.
Consider establishing a partnership with a local charity affected by the pandemic to promote a sense of service and connection to employees. Donating or volunteering to these organizations can be greatly empowering to employees as it strengthens personal values and sense of community within the company.
Constant evaluation is key in cultivating employee connections in these trying times. As the world adjusts to the new norm brought by the pandemic, employers must continually create new strategies in encouraging communication with employees. Keeping track of employee feedback and progress can help in modifying or creating new strategies to foster communication in these trying times.