The last few months have been a time of change, increased perspective, and challenge. Business owners and employees have been specially tasked with navigating this new normal way of working and living, some requiring more drastic change than others. While the pandemic has created a large impact on society as a whole, it has forced businesses to make necessary shifts in their operational structures that might have long-lasting, positive impacts down the road.
One major shift in structure has been related to employee work flexibility and the way businesses are adapting to meet the needs of their workforce during this time. Many companies have adjusted to remote work or are implementing a hybrid work arrangement to reduce how many employees they have in the office at any given time. Naturally, some challenges will be presented during any transition period however, it’s important that your business and human resources department continues to evolve in order to most effectively manage and assist remote employees during this unprecedented time.
- Survey and Check-in on Your Employees
The threat of change, isolation, illness, and uncertainty are all a reason to feel heightened stress and anxiety, which can directly impact your work. With this knowledge, it’s important that your business’s HR department takes initiative when it comes to the well-being of their employees. This might look like setting up virtual meetings and check-ins with managers, directors, and people in charge of other departments. Sending out a company-wide survey might be helpful to get an overall temperature check on your workforce to see how they are feeling personally, professionally, and what tools they might need in order to be successful. Communication is key to instilling trust with your employees, especially with unique remote work circumstances they must navigate. Being an effective manager requires you to put the focus on the employees that you rely on each day and find solutions that help them produce their best work.
- Encourage Employees to Secure Insurance Coverage
With so much uncertainty, it’s hard for individuals to feel secure and protected in their lives. By providing information regarding benefits and insurance coverage, employees can feel greater peace of mind and less worry about the unknown. With an increased focus on health and wellness, it’s important that employees have access to the necessary coverage should they get sick or anything unexpected happens. Especially in terms of life insurance, there are options outside of employer-issued policies that might be a better fit for an employee’s particular situation. In terms of affordability, most individuals can maintain optimal coverage with a level term life insurance policy, which won’t fluctuate in price or require a large financial commitment. Presenting your employees with the resources they need to make the best decision shows your support and dedication to their future well-being and success.
- Allow for Schedule Flexibility
Whether you have adjusted your business to be operating fully or partially remote during this time, there are some considerations that can help your employees feel engaged and productive in this new setting. It’s likely that your employees will have a variety of home or family situations, which is why it’s helpful to allow some flexibility in individual schedules. Parents might need to adjust their hours to accommodate their children being at home. Some employees may find themselves more productive in the early hours, as there might be increased distraction later in the day at their home or apartment. Allowing your employees to determine the most productive remote work hours for their schedule shows your trust in them and can help encourage a more enjoyable workday.
- Provide Access to Mental Health Applications
You might be experiencing some stress and anxiety at this very moment about the months ahead and where that leaves your business. Although it’s necessary to look towards the future, there is only so much you can control at this very moment. It’s important to spread positivity and motivation to your employees and help them get through similar feelings of uncertainty. You do this by encouraging mental breaks during their workday and suggesting some of the best apps for mental wellness that can help provide a relaxing outlet during a highly stressful situation—whether that might be personal or professional related.
- Offer Health and Fitness Resources
Many individuals have let their normal fitness routines fall by the wayside during the pandemic due to changes in their schedule, caretaking for children, or supporting elderly parents. You can assist your employees by offering some convenient ways to stay motivated and encouraged to take care of their health and wellness. Consider setting up a company wellness channel where employees can share workouts, recipes, and tools they use. This can be a fun way to encourage employee collaboration and bonding outside of work while putting your employees’ needs first. Research some virtual wellness program ideas and determine if you can implement any of these into your business. When your employees feel good, they are more likely to do better work, feel more confident to participate, and feel less stressed—a huge bonus during this time.
- Invest in Tech to Support Remote Employees
Another way to inspire your employees this new year while supporting their growth is ensuring they have the necessary tools to be successful. Investing in some type of technology support or hiring someone to provide assistance to employees regarding their computer, phone, email, or company software can be a great help. In addition, this can be a time saver as you will be able to solve technical issues quickly and efficiently while preventing some frustrations in the process. Investing in tools or people that can help your business run smoothly, even with a remote or hybrid environment. This will have a positive impact that you can see and will be a worthwhile return on investment.
During this challenging time, it’s easy to get caught up in productivity, finances, and the daily grind that might distract you from making small changes to positively impact your business. Taking the time to connect with your employees on a regular basis and provide them support and services that make their work and home life easier will benefit your business in the long run. Investing in your workforce and helping set your employees up for success will be the best decision you make this new year.