Keeping in touch with your employees during this time is important for both their wellbeing and also for the wellbeing of your business. We all know of the oft quoted statement "people are our biggest asset" however, are you looking after that asset and nurturing it during the COVID-19 Level 4 lockdown?
I'm an Employee Relations specialist and that makes me think: "What are employers doing for their employees at the moment?"
New Zealand is about to enter the fourth, and hopefully final, week of our COVID-19 lockdown. By now most of your employees are probably getting restless and are over being “locked down”. I know I am. Humans crave social interaction, and while we can use video, phone calls and the like, nothing beats face-to-face social interaction. But, as frustrating as it is, we have to wait before we can do that to ensure that, as a country, we can crack this COVID-19 pandemic.
We should be thinking now about how and when, and in some unfortunate situations whether, we can bring our workforce together again. Part of doing this is understanding what is going on for your greatest asset so that you can also determine how ready they are for returning to whatever your future normal is going to look like.
I recommend setting up a simple three question survey and sending it out to your people. Ask three questions:
Are you okay?
What is causing you the most concern at this time?
What do you need from me/us at this time?
You may not be able to address the answers to these questions, but part of the process is just “listening” and understanding where your people are at. As you analyse the answers you get, you will get a better understanding of where your people are at. You may be surprised in that you may be able to allay some of the concerns your people tell you that they have. Finally knowing what, if anything, your people need from you puts you in a better position for knowing what to tell your staff and how best to keep them informed.
You can send these questions out be direct email. However if you want to give anonymity to the responses, and possibly a better response rate, use a Google Form Survey to collect and collate the responses (free and people don’t even need a Google account to respond), Survey Monkey (the basic plan is free but has some limitations), or Survey Hero (basic is free and allows unlimited responses). Search the web for other free online survey tools.
Don’t be afraid to ask your people how they are and what they need. Knowing this information will greatly assist you in your planning for getting your business ready to operate when business is able to re-open again.
If you have already developed plans for how your business might return to work, share this with your people and ask for their input and ideas.
Remember you are a leading a team and together, everyone achieves more.