Connecting with Your Employees During and After COVID-19
We care about our people. We want them to be engaged and productive, but most importantly, we want them to be well. We want them to be physically and emotionally healthy; to have wonderful lives where they positively influence their kids, families, and communities; and to help them make a difference in the world.
What we don’t want is for them to be anxious and scared or to feel like their lives are falling apart.
Yet, into that world comes COVID-19 and social distancing. We can no longer see them, talk to them in person, or check in on them first hand to see how they are doing. We are stuck in our houses and separated in a way we have never experienced.
So, What Can We Do to Engage with Employees?
We have our obligations as employers, but now, more than ever, it is important to connect with employees as people. Acknowledge and let them know that it is OK to experience the real feelings we are all having:
- fear of an unknown or insecure future
Help them understand these feelings are normal prevalent.
Reach Out and Connect
Start by reaching out using multiple channels. Emails, conference calls, and most importantly, video chats should be scheduled on a routine basis. You can’t reach everyone, so make sure you’re reaching your managers who are reaching out and checking on their teams.
Another great idea is to have everyone pick a buddy they can check in on. Helping someone else is the best way they can help themselves.
Connecting with your team face-to-face via video and being able to assess their moods and physical appearance will go a long way to ensuring they are successfully navigating the crisis.
Consciously Check-In with Your Team
Encourage your team to schedule time just toask, “How are you doing?” We would normally find this out while we are getting coffee or walking through the halls, but now we need to consciously make time for it.
Share information openly and honestly. Tell your employees how the company is doing, what steps you’re taking during the crisis, and where to go for help with technology challenges. Even sharing what you don’t know is helpful and reassuring.
Emphasize the Resources Available
Most importantly, make sure they have a list of resources they can access like your Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and any telehealth services. Tell them who in the company they should go to with questions about any physical or emotional needs.
Plan for On-going Efforts After the Crisis
Please be aware that some members of your team may not excitedly come back to the office. Coming back will be yet another change in routine and will cause additional anxiety and fear as they evaluate what is safe in the new post-COVID-19 world.
Also, for some people, the symptoms of feeling anxious and unusually sad may not show up for as long as a year after life settles back into a normal routine. The pandemic is both stressful and traumatic, and some people will suffer from PTSD and not necessarily understand why.
So planning and connecting won’t end when the pandemic is over, and we all come back to work. This is an on-going effort that will require planning for a year or longer.
Need Help Getting Started?
This crisis can forge loyalty and build trust or sow seeds of doubt. Your team can walk away from the pandemic believing they’re nothing more than paid workers, or they can really feel and appreciate that they work for a company that is fully supportive and truly cares about their wellbeing.
So, reach out and connect…because we know you care.
If you’re wondering what Joyages is…it’s an app that teaches skills and habits to help your employees improve their emotional health. Joyages provides Life Coaching, Anxiety and Depressions Assessments, and mental health resources in the palm of their hand. Joyages can also be customized to meet the special needs of your team and to connect them to all of the mental health resources you have engaged.