It will be an understatement to term 2020 as a disaster. The sheer breakdown of normalcy and the subsequent fallout is going to have a lasting impact on everyone. Small business owners and their employees have found themselves in a precarious position, as they try to navigate the world employee layoffs and company closures.
Our study has found that nearly 70% of employees have felt that they have not been as productive at work, with the pandemic hindering their day-to-day functions. Business owners have to ensure that 2021 is a year of positive growth for the employees. Here are some tips:
Emphasize on Their Mental Well-Being
A much-needed conversation on the mental health of employees has finally been initiated at workplaces. Employers can ensure that employees remain in a good headspace by expanding on the available mental health programs and benefits in the company. Clearly outlining the services offered by the company, in terms of mental and emotional health, will help employees in managing their resources.
On a more immediate scale, employers should talk to their employees and schedule their tasks in a flexible manner. Managers should emphasize the separation of personal and professional lives, by discouraging employees from checking emails after work hours.
Listening to Your Employees
A workplace culture that has open channels for anonymous feedback, provisions for check-ins, and open communication between the various levels of the company, will always be preferred by any employee. Though the medium of communication has gone virtual in the pandemic, the spirit of transparency and openness should remain the same to retain high morale.
It is hard to feel heard and understood, especially when there is no way for employees to see the action unfolding. Thus, managers should take the lead in reaching out to employees and acknowledging their concerns, collected through anonymous feedback channels.
Reassessment of Employee Needs and Expectations
Employers have to realize that the passage of the past year has also shifted the goalposts, in terms of the needs and expectations of the employees, as the latter has undergone a transformation. Managers should focus on having a one-to-one session with each employee and try to establish what the future looks like for them.
You will witness some common concerns and themes emerging, which will help you establish a company-wide plan to boost employee morale and modify the practices of the organization.
Positivity in Feedback and Recognition
The success of any organization rides on the tails of the efforts made by the employees. This is not something that the higher-ups should take for granted. Recognition when due should be the norm in any company. Even if the company's productivity has dipped in the last year, make sure to highlight the positive achievements. Encourage your employees and recognize the role they have played in helping the company stay afloat during this tough time. Moreover, emphasize the positive impact of their hard work, in front of the stakeholders and employees.
Reassurance is Key
The accumulating changes of the past year may have overwhelmed your employees, to the point that they feel burned out. You need to step in and reassure your team that change is for the better and emphasize how it will help their professional growth. If the feeling of being burnt out persists, insist on taking it out on an individual level, with the concerned employee. Do not let your employees carry on with the same burnt out feeling, as it will impact them and their work. It is better for, both, the employee and the company, that reassurance is provided at the earliest.
The Bottom Line
2020 was the year of burnouts and lack of morale, however, the same spirit should not color your endeavors in 2021. Even though traditional methods of engaging the employees went out the window, the norm can be established again in the company culture. Your focus should be on setting short-term goals for the attainable employees. The success of these short-term projects will give them a much-needed morale boost, that will help to bring things back on track. By showing employees you care, you earn their trust for a long time.<< back to Blog