With many organizations requiring employees to stay out of the office, it’s more important than ever to encourage and facilitate regular communication with employees. Here are tips for managers and human resource professionals in supporting employees in staying connected to the workplace and each other:
- Show empathy and be available: Understand that employees are likely feeling overwhelmed and anxious about circumstances related to the virus. Make yourself available to your staff to talk about fears, to answer questions and to reassure them about work and other issues that might come up.
- Stay connected with communication and meeting tools: Use virtual meeting options with video, like Zoom or JoinMe, for regular check-ins and to allow teams to connect with one another “face-to-face.”
- Recognize the impact of isolation and loneliness: Working remotely can cause people to feel isolated, making it more important to routinely check in with your team, not only about their work product, but also to see how they are doing. Loneliness can lead to depression and other mental health issues. Be aware of significant changes you may see in your team member’s personality or work product, because it may be a sign that a person is struggling.
- Encourage online training: This is a great time to encourage employees to sharpen their skills with online training. It is also a good distraction to focus on learning rather than worrying about other issues. Find online trainings and new learning opportunities to recommend to employees.
- Check in with EAP Assist: Remind the staff that their employer funded Employee Assistance Program is there if they need support and advice through these difficult times.