Supporting Your Workforce During Uncertain Times
Employees today have a lot of stress on their shoulders, from the constantly changing cultural and economic factors to the daily pressures of work and personal life. This added stress can make it hard for employees to do their best work. When this happens, it’s bad for business. The best way to help your employees stay healthy and keep your business running during a crisis is to build a strong workforce. When things go wrong, resilient teams can get back on their feet and keep making improvements even after the problem is fixed.
To help your employees through these times of uncertainty, you must first identify the challenges they are facing.
But to get a bigger picture, here are the three biggest problems that most employees face during times of stress and uncertainty.
Employees, especially those who work from home, often find it hard to separate their work life from their personal life. If work hours run into the evenings and weekends, employees will get tired of it quickly. And being burned out can be bad for a business.
Over 62% of people are feeling burned out at work right now, and 76% of employees feel burned out at least sometimes. Not only is an overworked worker more likely to make mistakes, but they are also more likely to be stressed and depressed, and they can be a big reason why people leave their jobs.
Not enough clarity
Employees may have a lot of questions about your company, industry, or the future of their job, especially during times of uncertainty. Even if you can’t always give them perfect or concrete answers, you can tell them too much about what you do know.
Even a small amount of reassurance can help employees feel like they are in charge again. Leadership that is clear and open can do a lot to build trust and clarity among employees.
Need for emotional support
Everyone handles problems and stressful times in their own way. You may have noticed that some employees are acting differently or that the whole organization’s attitude is changing.
Instead of letting your people’s frustrations boil over, keep in mind that they may be dealing with more than they can handle and act with kindness and a good attitude. HR teams can also help make sure that employees know about and have access to important resources when they are needed.
Employees rely on you for guidance and experience on such matters, so how can you reassure them? Here are some strategies for encouraging your team to stick together through times of change.
Start and maintain frequent communication with employees
Since employees’ needs are evolving, so too are the companies’ priorities, which now prioritise open communication. From company finances to diversity and inclusion statistics, more and more businesses are making formerly private information available to their employees. By keeping employees informed of company happenings, you demonstrate your appreciation for their contributions.
When coping with unexpected events, transparent communication is crucial since it allows companies to earn employees’ confidence and respect. Employees will feel more secure knowing that HR has their backs no matter what happens if they understand the rationale behind HR’s choices and actions. Make sure you’re well-prepared before a situation arises in which you’ll be expected to provide leadership. You may arrange most of the communication you’ll need ahead of time so that you’re just making small modifications right before you need to take action.
Lead by Example
Human resources managers and CEOs are responsible for setting the culture of the whole organization. Leaders need to walk the walk if they want their organisations to thrive. Employees will be left in the dark if their executives don’t set the right example.
If you tell your employees to prioritise their health and wellbeing by avoiding needless business travel, but then fly across the nation to a conference only a few days later, you’re sending a confusing message.
As long as leaders set a good example, employees will know what is expected of them. It frees them up to concentrate on their jobs rather than wasting time questioning management’s decisions.
Reevaluate Your Business Goals
Change is something that can’t be avoided, especially in these kinds of times. Rather than trying to ignore or downplay problems outside of your control, you should embrace them and adapt your organization’s objectives appropriately. Inspire your employees and upper management to adopt a flexible mindset, and be available to provide a helping hand as needed. Also, keep in mind that not everyone, including some of your own employees, will want to travel if your company is hosting or attending a huge event. This will help you set more reasonable sales, marketing, and customer expectations.
It’s not always straightforward to implement these changes, and doing so may need some time. But if you equip your entire workforce with the tools they need, they will be able to handle any transitions that come their way.