7 Effective Ways to Support Your Staff Through the Pandemic

Many words have been used to describe the COVID-19 pandemic. Unprecedented is one, difficult is another. While the coronavirus has had an impact on health and medicine, this is closely followed by the stresses of work and employment. With millions of people currently unemployed, millions more are worried about job security in addition to taking care of themselves and their families. Luckily, as the head of your company, there are a few methods and practices you can put into practice to better support your employees. We’ve partnered with Clover to round up seven ways you can show your employees you care.

 

Have Personal Check-Ins

We all have lives outside of work, but it can feel uncomfortable for your employees to share those details with you, their employer. Many are struggling with working from home, childcare, supervising their children’s online schooling, and even caring for elderly parents. It’s important to let your people know your door is open—and that the choice to share, or not, is always theirs. Ask open-ended questions like “What is life like for you at home right now?” And feel free to share some of your own experiences if appropriate.

 

Prioritize Individual Status Meetings

In the interest of social distancing, many businesses are moving away from all-hands staff meetings and prioritizing individual check-ins. As the environment changes, it’s important to meet with your employees individually to make sure they are doing well, their voices are heard, and to answer any questions they may have.

 

Communicate Best Practices for Health and Safety

With the number of cases still high in many states, it is important to stress the health and safety measures of your business to your employees and customers. Think through every point of contact your team has not only with each other but also with customers. Make sure that face coverings, cleaning and sanitation, and social distancing are prioritized at every step, and stay up to date with your local health officials’ directives and the CDC’s latest advice.

 

Be Flexible with Employee Scheduling

You may have too much work for your employees—or not enough. Your peak sales hours might have shifted—right out of alignment with your team’s regular schedules. Whatever your situation it may be time to start more in-depth conversations about scheduling with your people. Encourage your team to communicate their needs and wishes to you, but let them know you may not be able to accommodate all requests.

 

Don’t Forget Furloughed Staff

If you’ve had to furlough or lay off employees, check in with them and make sure they’ve been able to access unemployment benefits. When it comes time to welcome your furloughed staff back into your active team, ask them what would make them feel comfortable returning to work.

Numerous factors such as commuting via public transportation or contact with the public on a regular basis can make people wary about coming back to work.

 

Think Outside the Paycheck

You may not be able to offer your staff bonuses or other financial support right now, but you can show them appreciation in many other ways. What feels most appropriate for each staffer?

  • If they’re hurting financially, perhaps you can give them a gift card for their favorite grocery store.
  • You can also invite your customers to donate to an emergency assistance fund for your employees.
  • Another option is to sell gift cards for your products or services and pass the proceeds on to your team.
  • Mental and psychological health support goes a long way too. Empower your employees to help themselves with lists of mental health apps and resources, suggestions for online art exhibits, or recommendations for virtual fitness sessions.

 

Don’t Forget to Take Care of Yourself

The best way you can take care of your employees is by remembering to take care of yourself. If you burn out, your business will not be able to sustain itself. Give yourself regular breaks from work. Set time aside to practice self-care. Take the time to connect with the people who make you happy. And if your business is still on lockdown, use the time for strategy and planning. Look into ways to streamline your business processes. This will help you better focus on your team and customers when you reopen.

This article was developed in collaboration with our friends at Clover. Check out Clover and all the ways they can help your business.

 

The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. Nothing contained herein should be construed as medical advice. Please refer to www.cdc.gov and www.who.int for further information with respect to the coronavirus and COVID-19, and steps you can take to mitigate the related risks.

OBWS Team

The largest app and digital platform helping Black-owned businesses thrive!

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