As a CEO, we do not need to tell you how brutally tough the last eighteen months have been. If you have managed to keep your business afloat during this period and you are still going strong, then you have accomplished something that is truly worth celebrating. This is a testament to your resolve, your ingenuity, and your expertise, but it is also a demonstration of your ability to manage your employees.
We all know that no business would have made it this far through the pandemic if every single person on the team was not pulling together to make it all work. That is not to say that managers have not had to make some tough choices. Everyone has been forced to step up and make those hard decisions during COVID-19, whether it was abandoning projects that people had been excited for, putting people on furlough, or even making a few redundancies.
What Does The Future Hold?
Right now, we find ourselves at an interesting, if slightly worrying, position. It is true that things are looking much brighter in the UK than they did this time last year. Since the UK government rolled back the Coronavirus restrictions, we have seen a massive morale boost as everyone has gone out and tried to resume their normal lives. You cannot even begin to measure how much of a difference being able to see friends and family again has made. We have all been overjoyed to be able to go for a drink or meal, go on holiday and yes, even return to the office. But there are warning signs beginning to rumble. The government may have denied that they are thinking about deploying a firebreak lockdown in October, but they haven’t denied that they would consider it, and it is hard to ignore the rising case numbers as we head into flu season.
As a result, we want to make sure that we move forward with a combination of optimism and caution. There are plenty of ways that we can put that into practice with our business, but when it comes to our employees, that can be a hard balance to strike. Here are a few ideas that will help you to continue incentivising, rewarding, and supporting your employees to give your business the best possible chance of weathering whatever storm is coming our way next.
1. Create Clear Lines Of Communication
One of the results of the pandemic was that we were all trying to rush. We were all scrambling to try to make sure that business was going to continue as usual, or as near as we could get to it. As a consequence, lines of communication started to get a little jumbled. It wasn’t just that things were being missed, although of course some were. It was also about confusion in terms of responsibility. We all needed to try to figure out the best way to keep track of the various stages of projects, and how delegation structures could continue to work efficiently while we were all working from home.
If you want to make sure that your employees are working as well as they can, it is so important to make sure that you have clear lines of communication open. Your team needs to know where they can go to if they have a problem and who to update on each stage of a project.
2. Keep Them Updated On Changes
Following on from the point above, one of the most important things that you can be doing as an employer right now is making sure that you are following the COVID-19 protocols and that you are making responsible choices. If you are returning to the office and bringing everyone back in, you must ensure that you have taken every step to protect your staff. What’s more, you need to be communicating all of this to them so that they feel comfortable and reassured.
They should also feel like they are able to come to you with any concerns that they have. Given the research that has been done into how people are feeling about the idea of returning to the office, it may well be worth thinking about employing a hybrid working system where some people continue working remotely. Remember that this is a choice that is more than a business decision. This is something that will affect how your employees view you and your company.
3. Give Them The Opportunity To Progress
When we are thinking about how we can continue to build our companies and progress into this uncertain future, there can be the temptation to look for people from outside the business to address certain needs. There is this sense of rushing that so many people are feeling right now, but it also comes from this idea that bringing on new employees is always a symbol of growth. But if you want to make your staff feel like they are valued and that they have a real future in your company, then you should think about how you can drive employee engagement from within.
Improving your internal talent mobility does not just help you to develop your employees. It creates a much better corporate culture, it increases talent retention, and it will help to improve your brand while helping you to guarantee that you can fill those vacancies that are always giving you problems. There are many different tools out there that you can use to drive internal talent mobility, and they can be customised to suit your specific business needs. If you want to learn more about how best to deploy it and the many ways it can benefit your company, then experts in global talent mobility solutions can help. Their expertise has helped businesses grow and adapt to this increasingly unpredictable and demanding marketplace.
4. You Need To Be Aware Of Emerging And Continuing Issues
When the pandemic first hit, our priority when it came to our employees was their health. Could we make sure that they had everything that they needed to work from home and minimise the risk of their catching COVID? Then, it quickly became apparent that mental health was going to be a huge issue. We saw the extensive reports that emerged, and we looked for ways to make sure that they were supported. As we head into the autumn and the winter, it is going to be crucial that we keep an eye on any mental health issues and continue to offer our support where we can. There is a real risk that rising case numbers and any further lockdowns could create real issues in the months to come.
It’s also important to consider how you can help your employees feel like they are a part of something positive. We have all seen the reports about global warming from around the world as soaring temperatures break records and extreme weather events hit nations everywhere from Japan to Seattle. If you want to create a project at work that everyone can get behind, why not create environmental goals for your team? Encourage recycling and look for ways that you can reduce plastic use in your office. Think about donating time or money to local charities and look for team building exercises that will benefit your local community.