2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and has put a huge strain on our working lives. Whether you are an entrepreneur, executive, manager, or business owner, I’m sure you’ve felt the pressure of this year mount up on you at times. Recent reports suggest that only a third of employees truly believe their employers care about them as an individual, which is a concerning statistic during such a difficult year. At this time of year, there’s nothing more important than showing your employees you care and these are a few simple ways to help you to connect with them.
Encourage Work-Life Boundaries
With so many of us working from home, there has become less of a cut off between work ending and our leisure time beginning. With commutes being shortened to a twenty-second walk to the spare bedroom, there’s little separation between your home and work life. The majority of individuals have found themselves burnt out at some point this year, and often too many emails, back to back video conferences and taking on more because of cuts and hiring on hold is to blame. If you are guilty of sending emails at 10 pm at night, it’s time to stop! As a manager, your employees will follow your lead, so start by setting a good example, and you’ll also reap the benefits in your personal life.
Put Physical and Mental Health first
Health has been at the center of everyone’s attention this year, and employers have needed to act accordingly. Flexible sick leave policies are essential for navigating this challenging time, and it’s important to show compassion and flexibility if one of your employees becomes ill or needs to take care of someone ill.
Another great initiative to consider is adding a wellness program for your employees. Encourage them to remain active while working at home by offering discounts on health and fitness services. Mental health has been greatly impacted this year, with over 50% of adults reporting higher stress and worry. Resources for mental health should be shared regularly with your team, so they can learn how to combat any issues. It can be a very personal topic, but by opening up more regularly and encouraging dialogue surrounding mental health, your employees are likely to perform better for you in the long run.
Work from Home options
One of the silver linings of the pandemic is that it has forced old school thinking that only time in the office equals productivity to change rapidly and forcefully. While some of your team may be keen to return to the office, others will be happy to keep working from home. Offering this flexibility to cater to individual needs while we await the return of normal will definitely signal care and compassion. That being said, you do have to put in more effort to maintain a team mindset and culture and to avoid the notion of “out of sight, out of mind” to impact engagement.
Everyone has reacted differently to the struggles of this year, and it’s important to treat your team as individuals. By catering to everyone’s needs to the best of your ability, you will keep team morale high and employees engaged in their work even if they are still working off the kitchen table. Stepping into the new year, it’s important to remember that normality is still yet to return, so encourage your team to create a good work-life balance and look after themselves during these uncertain times.
Share in comments other methods you have found to be successful.
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