The coronavirus pandemic has jolted workplaces across the globe.
Stay-at-home orders and business closures have left many employees working from home, isolated from coworkers, in less-than-ideal workspaces. Some shoulder daytime care for family members while they work. Many face strained relationships and fewer opportunities for spontaneous collaboration.
And for shift-based businesses from restaurants and bars to retail stores, leisure and entertainment businesses and especially care homes and healthcare centres on the frontline of the pandemic, life has changed drastically.
The day to day challenges of admin tasks such as employee scheduling, staff communication, shift-swaps and protecting against further spread of the virus has catapulted to the top of mind for healthcare business managers and their staff.
Meanwhile, other shift-based industries grapple with the difficulties of localised shutdowns, restrictions, rapidly-changing advice from authorities and the emergence of a new term for affected employees: furlough.
So how does your business maintain a good company culture and invest now to see the dividends of outstanding teamwork?
As you well know, business productivity relies on a positive company culture. But how do you maintain that in an age of so much stress, change, and separation? Businesses must adapt and provide tools to boost employee morale and productivity in a post-COVID world.
Here’s a few ideas to help.
Tools to Improve Employee Productivity
Change in the workplace is inevitable. Companies which take steps to manage disruption will emerge stronger, prepared to handle crises without breaking stride.
Here are five tools to help employees get more done efficiently.
1. Give Priority to Mental Health
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 42% of people in the corporate world suffer from depression and anxiety, among other mental health issues. In other words, almost every other employee wrestles with an internal challenge of some sort.
The pressures of the pandemic only make it worse. Employees already fighting inner battles will find it even harder to work at full capacity. It’s essential to practice good management traits like empathy, respect, and active listening when these issues arise.
Take time to communicate with your employees and understand their challenges. Consider offering counselling services, so employees have easy access to professional help if they need it.
2. Be Flexible in Urgent Situations
Even with an abundance of precautions, COVID-19 is still a big risk for companies. You can’t rule out the possibility of one or more employees getting sick or needing to isolate, even if they work from home. Make contingency plans in case this happens.
Maintain flexibility in granting leave if someone contracts or needs to isolate due to COVID-19 exposure. Here’s a few ways a solution like Planday can help you manage in this situation.
Transparency and understanding are at the core of the working culture, and even more so in extreme circumstances like a global pandemic.
3. Use Digital Tools to Better Communicate
Remote work was on the rise before the pandemic. Companies now use a multitude of online tools to coordinate, organise, plan, and communicate with employees.
Advanced technology improves the efficiency of follow-up and meetings; apps keep you organised and allow you to mark off tasks.
Knowing how to effectively manage people also puts you in a better position to handle any problems that may arise and cause disruption in the workplace.
4. Give Frequent and Personalised Feedback
Clear communication is the key to an effective workplace. When employees make a mistake, instead of reprimanding them, give them personalised feedback that motivates them to improve their work.
The more clarity you provide employees, the more they’ll improve and help grow your business.
And don’t just give feedback to employees. Request feedback from them! Ask employees how your company’s post-pandemic protocol is working for them. You may gain insight into issues they’re facing that you had no idea of. This also gives you a chance to discover how engaged employees are in their work.
5. Encourage Career Advancement
While it’s essential to grow your business, it’s also important to uplift your employees and help them prosper in the workplace. Regular virtual training, guest speaker lectures, webinars, and mentoring programmes go a long way towards achieving this goal.
Senior members offering training and guidance to junior employees can foster growth in the company and the industry as a whole. Rewarding new ideas and innovation creates a thriving environment and will motivate employees to work more efficiently while honing their skills.
How to Succeed During Unpredictable Times
The pandemic brought about a dynamic change in the working culture worldwide.
Companies which introduce new measures and tools to enhance productivity and communication are most likely to successfully overcome these unprecedented challenges.
Providing your employees with these tools will help them do their work better and benefit your company. Employee wellness and productivity is the centre of your success, so make it your priority.