Although it may not always feel quite so dire to everyone, we are absolutely in a global financial crisis.
You might be tempted to think that employees who still have jobs feel secure enough to carry on. But employees may be stressed is because they may be concerned with their own safety. And employers who are carrying on with business-as-usual are probably starting to see productivity on the decline. Humans need to feel safe before they can address any of their other problems.
Everyone is concerned about their financial future right now, and there’s a chance it could be impacting productivity.
So if you’re seeing a decline in productivity or think your employee’s stress levels are elevated because of the pandemic, you can make a few changes to help boost productivity.
Create clear safety policies
One reason why your employees may not be as productive is that they’re worried about their own safety. And Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs tells us that humans need to feel safe before they can focus on virtually anything else.
So it doesn’t really matter how much you’re paying them if they think their lives are at risk.
To counter this effect, create and enforce policies to keep everyone safer at work. These should include social distancing, wearing masks and sanitization procedures and life-saving training such as CPR and first aid.
Allow more employees to work from home
Studies have found that employees who work remotely are more productive to begin with, and with people working from the comfort of their homes, they will also feel safer.
So it makes sense to ask as many employees as you can to work from home. They’ll reduce the risk of spreading illness throughout your staff and they’ll address their own concerns about basic safety.
Naturally, there are some drawbacks to allowing employees to work from home too. Even if your employees are maintaining productivity, it will be difficult to tell if you have a high-functioning alcoholic on staff. And this can create problems as the pandemic and any potential alcoholism persists. To address this issue, consider offering some sort of counseling to your staff during these stressful times.
Conduct Zoom interviews
Your company’s human resource department may well be at greatest risk because they come in contact with many people daily. But if you set up a policy that keeps the hiring process virtual, you can minimize their risk and help boost their productivity. Encourage the use of an online resume builder to keep applications consistent and require that all first-round interviews be conducted virtually through Zoom or Skype.
Address broad concerns
Most people are worried about two things: Job security and the potential for getting sick. If you can address these two issues, your employees are more likely to work productively.
Safety protocols can help ease some worries about catching coronavirus, but if you want to go the extra mile, consider a program that includes some paid sick leave.
And you can address job security by sharing information about how your employees are performing along with overall business performance. If employees know your business has longevity, they’re more likely to take an active role at work.
Employers today are facing so many challenges, but we can’t forget that employees face just as many. And we all know that employees can make or break a company, so it’s important to address the factors that may be bothering them when you can.
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