Ontario recently entered its third COVID-19 lockdown, which has left many people feeling disheartened and burnt out. Employers should think about what they can do to ensure employees remain engaged, motivated, and healthy as we continue to battle the pandemic. Here are a few tips from our HR experts at Nova Staffing on how to help your employees during this difficult time.
Establish Clear Guidelines
One of the hardest things about the COVID-19 pandemic has been not knowing what to expect. There are not many things businesses can do about the virus, but employers can help their workers by establishing clear guidelines on what they expect during this latest lockdown. Whether your employees are work from home or still in the workspace, make sure you once again articulate job expectations, work hours, and COVID-19 policies. Taking away as much uncertainty as possible will make it easier for your employees to focus on their work.
Open Channels of Communication
Communication is key to any effective workplace, but especially during lockdown when employees already feel more isolated. The last thing you want to do is make your workers feel like they are on their own and unsupported. This will increase the chance of them feeling overwhelmed and stressed. Ensure you’re clearly communicating what you need from your employees and opening up a communication line for them to come to you with any problems.
Be Transparent and Honest
Entering lockdown for a third time, especially as other parts of the world are starting to open up, has been incredibly hard and frustrating for everyone. It has impacted everyone in Ontario- employers and employees alike. Employers should be open about this so that employees don’t feel like they’re the only ones dealing with these issues. Employees will feel better just knowing that those above them are dealing with the same struggles.
It can feel like there’s not much good left right now, which is why it’s so important for businesses to celebrate all the success employees have, no matter how big or small. When employees that go above and beyond their duty don’t get acknowledged, they’re more likely to become disengaged and unmotivated. That’s why employers should make an effort to praise and appreciate employees for every achievement.
Be Understanding and Compassionate
As Ontario enters another lockdown, your employees are probably dealing with more changes than just working from home or new workplace health and safety guidelines. Working parents now have to handle kids being at home and virtual schooling. Employees may have elderly or at-risk family members they have to take care of. Even simple things such as getting necessities is now more challenging due to reduced hours. Employers should try to make this lockdown as easy as possible for their employees by understanding that things may come up. Be compassionate about things that may pop up during the workday, such as dogs barking in the background or kids running around. Right now, everyone is just trying to do their best.
Arrange Employee Bonding
Employees may be feeling isolated and disconnected from their co-workers after not being in the same workspace as them. It can be hard to connect virtually, especially when everyone is dealing with their own challenges. As an employer, you should step up and try to arrange some activities to encourage employee bonding and just bring a little fun to their lives. Consider hosting virtual social events such as catch-up coffees or trivia nights.
If you are looking for more HR tips or need help with hiring quality candidates, contact Nova Staffing today! Our team of employment experts is ready to help you with all of your staffing needs.