Taking Care of Your Team – Be Proactive or Be Reactive
After the announcements this week regarding COVID-19, all workforces, where possible, have been encouraged to work remotely. However it’s important for physical safety to not overshadow the effect this will have on employee’s mental health. As millions of workers in Britain set themselves up to work from home, they will be adjusting to a whole new way of working, the lack of social contact will have a huge impact on some people. The depth of rising employee anxiety is forcing senior executives to take calming measures.
Prior to the Coronavirus some workers may already work a day a week from home, but few of them will have worked full time from home. A report from the World Economic Forum in 2019 found that 41% of remote workers reported high stress levels, compared to just 25% of office works. 49% of remote workers note that their biggest struggle is wellness-related. More specifically, 22% can’t unplug after work, 19% feel lonely and 8% can’t stay motivated. These statistics are before Coronavirus plunged the world into uncertainty and the constant news about the pandemic can feel relentless.
Leaders skills are being called into action, Managers will need to step up to ensure their teams are supported, after all an unprepared leader leads to an unprepared team. You must learn to trust your team, you will have undoubtedly had concerns before now about some team members but if they feel like you genuinely care and want to support them to do well, they will give back twice as much in effort and commitment.
6 ways to support your employee’s mental health whilst working from home:
1. Put an action plan in place.
Keep your team in their regular work routine. Schedule a meeting to start and close the workday. Encourage regular breaks and exercise, ensure people are taking time to unwind, move away from their workstations and get fresh air; this will reduce burnout amongst your team.
2. Maintain communication
Make the most of technology like Zoom or Skype to socialise, it will keep your staff informed and maintain good levels of engagement. By continuing to keep communication channels open employees will feel more supported, don’t be afraid to check-in on someone if you have any concerns during a Team call, just pop a quick call in afterwards.
3. Manage productivity.
Set small clear tasks, such as; marketing objectives, CRM system updates, online training to upskill staff. Notice and reward the whole team rather than individuals upon task completion.
4. Ensure suitable workstations
Check everyone has the correct equipment to work from home, suggest employees adapt or renovate their workstations to improve moral and boost their mood. They may have to borrow their child’s desk but ensure this isn’t still in their child’s bedroom, so that they can concentrate, ensure they are sat at a table or desk and not just sat on the sofa, in front of the TV.
5. Urge employees to have empathy for one another
We are in this together, this is an international pandemic and supporting one another is crucial. Allow and encourage an open space, where all fears can be shared no matter how big or how small.
It is times like now that we have to implement new systems and processes, would a shared spreadsheet work? a Trello? or Slack board? Ask your team for their ideas and give team members responsibility to implement new ideas suitable to their skill set, enable them to feel valued and give credit where credit is due.
Facing the unknown can cause staff stress levels to sky rocket, if it hasn’t already. Now is the time to be putting reassurance plans in place. There will be a significant amount of rolling disruption following this. We here at Team Works can give you completely anonymous and honest reports of how your employees are coping during this pandemic.
An employer has a duty to be aware rather than be afraid. Take this as an opportunity to protect your business and your teams.
This deadly disease has disrupted most industries, and employers are figuring out how to adapt. Team Works is specifically designed to help workforces adapt and enable them to thrive in any circumstances, this is no different.
Don’t tackle this alone face it as a team.