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PLATINUM GROUP NEWS & VIEWS

How to Support Your Team Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

by Michael Murphy / July 23, 2020

A key component for ensuring long term organizational success and business continuity is preparation for emergencies and disruptions. This is why businesses have set out measures and protocols to help navigate such occurrences. However, only a few, if any, were prepared to deal with a global pandemic such as COVID-19.

In the months after, the novel coronavirus COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic, businesses have been forced to deal with unprecedented challenges. These include:

  • Supply chain disruption
  • Inability to markets
  • Closures
  • Reduced productivity due to a limited workforce

Despite facing such unique challenges, businesses have displayed great resilience, agility, and ingenuity to continue serving their clients and protect their employees. However, more needs to be done. Other than the health and economic effects, COVID-19 has put a significant psychological toll on people.

Unfortunately, millions of people have lost their jobs, and others are forced to settle for salary deductions. With the number of COVID-19 cases still on the rise, there’s a lot of anxiety due to the stress and of what the future holds.

One of the main concerns employees have at the moment is that their employer will ask them to resume work before it is safe. This is evident from a Weber Shandwick and KRC Research national survey that indicates that 50% 0f employees are worried about the future of their company and job.

Therefore, as different states prepare to reopen and organizations find new ways to resume operations, management teams should find ways to support their teams during this crisis. 

As you resume operations, your employees’ peace of mind will be crucial as you aim to achieve maximum productivity. Read on for some crucial tips on how you can support your team during this period.

1. Their Well-Being Should Be Your Top Priority

Understandably, management teams are eager to see staff at their stations and operations running smoothly. However, before this happens, measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and other relevant bodies, must be observed.

Also, take into account the unique setup and needs within your organization to come up with additional measures to safeguard your team. Some of the things employees want their employers to address are:

  • Cleaning and sanitization of the workplace
  • Set up flexible sick leave policies and encourage employees to stay at home if they do not feel well
  • Encourage personal hygiene habits
  • Issue employees with personal protective equipment
  • Screening of employees before they are allowed back to the workplace

By taking such steps, you will make it easier for employees to resume work as they will feel safe at the workplace.

2. Offer Financial Support

To curb the spread of COVID-19, people have been encouraged to maintain social distance, and some states put curfews and lockdowns in place. Due to such measures, people were forced to stay at home, leaving organizations deprived of staff.

As a way to resume operations, many organizations have encouraged employees to work from home where possible. With no clear sight when normalcy as we know it shall return, employees may have to work from home for some time. Also, there is a high chance that organizations will adopt a work from home approach post-C0VID.

However, for employees to set up an ideal working area at home, they will need to make some investments. This may include expenses such as converting a room into an office, purchasing suitable furniture and expenses, among others.

First, you must encourage your team to invest in items that will ensure their comfort and boost productivity as they work from home. However, with the present circumstances, it is likely that your employees are currently financially strained are stressed. Therefore, other than letting them bear the financial load alone, offer some financial aid where possible.

Discuss with your human resource department and come up with measures that fit your team’s and company’s needs. Even if it is not possible to offer immediate financial support, you can develop a reimbursement program.

3. Anticipate Potential Challenges

Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has come with unprecedented challenges for businesses and their employees. Without a clear idea of how things might unfold, you must anticipate secondary effects. To do this, you must first find out the challenges they are facing.

With schools closed, one challenge that parents may be facing is finding suitable daycare centers for children. This may be challenging at this time as many parents face the same predicament, and such centers need to observe social distancing requirements.

To enable your team to work around such challenges, a flexible working schedule may be ideal. Have members of your team report on different days and at different times. Such flexibility will give them room to balance personal and professional needs.

Adjusting to secondary effects call for a great deal of flexibility and compassion.

4. Educate and Train Senior Management

As your company resumes operations, the senior management will play a significant role in ensuring the transition is smooth. As such, they will have added responsibility going forward. To ensure they are well equipped to handle both employee and client concerns, organize learning and training sessions.

Such education and training should feature safety measures, methods of identifying and addressing emotional distress. In some way, the management team should play a supportive role and help employees determine challenges within their control and those that aren’t.

5. Check-in With Your Team

During times of crisis, stress, depression, and anxiety are a likely occurrence. These are factors that hinder productivity and can lower collaboration within the workplace. Once you resume operations, it should not just be business only at the workplace. Make a habit of checking in with your employees.  

In addition, schedule non-official meetups for employees. However, all this will be done in line with safety regulations in mind.

Ensure You Have the Right Resources in Place

For your business to resume operations seamlessly with the prevailing circumstances, the right resources and infrastructure must be availed. Platinum Group is an institution that helps businesses scale and streamlines operations through HR payroll and accounting services.

Contact us today or schedule a demo to find out how our iSolved platform can help you manage payroll and benefits, track time and attendance, and perform human resource functions that eliminate redundancies and boost efficiency. 

 

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Michael Murphy

Michael Murphy

Michael is the founder of Platinum Group. His passion is in helping businesses to simplify their employee management and accounting processes.