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Effective Ways to Support Your Employees in the Midst of the Pandemic

The pandemic has shown that humanity plays a huge role in survival, from being caring and understanding. This also holds true for businesses. As a company owner, it is your responsibility to do what is right and support the well-being of your employees, more than anyone else. In these tough times, existing financial and medical health benefits are often not enough. Your employees together with their family need further assistance and services that are tailed to this particular crisis.

By showing generosity and care, you are not just displaying strong leadership among your employees but also the reality that the company values them greatly. And in turn, without expectations, your employees will exhibit more passion and devotion to their work. Now, isn’t that a win-win situation?

  1. Provide more flexibility

As we’ve all seen, this current crisis has pushed so almost all companies to switch to a work from home setup. And truth is, this new normal has affected everyone differently depending on their living situations and responsibilities. For such reason, the idea and implementation of more flexible options are very crucial.

Listen to what your employees have to say, from the time to the way they can work. Do they need some adjustments when it comes to their working hours to take care of their kids? Do they need a bit more time in turning in their tasks?

As much as you can, try to look at flexibility in a positive way. Assess if further flexibility like a compressed workweek or reduced working hours is needed. Don’t make it hard for your employees to balance their home lives and work.

  1. Promote physical and mental well-being

Another area that has been at the forefront of crisis management strategies is promoting physical and mental well-being to employees. Whether you are in an office-based or work-from-home setup, you can hold in-house meditation sessions in which your people can have a well-earned pause for the day and provide them with tools for gratitude, resilience, and skillful presence. Daily mindfulness sessions can greatly help your employees to reduce their stress and relax their body through guided imagery and breathing methods.

There is no playbook for this kind of program, but there are plenty of mindfulness activities you can host, even virtually. Some of these include mindful stretching and movements, circle sharing, tea meditation, readings, bodywork and breathing, and closing reflections. Make the wellness of your employees a top priority.

  1. Encourage regular social time

Human connection is very much valuable in this pandemic, and the workforce is no exception. Drink tea or coffee together with your team during your weekly virtual meetings. Schedule short catch-up breaks with your team and have fun conversations that don’t relate to work. Host a weekly trivia game after working hours so your team can have some fun and engage with other members as well.

These small company events and happy hours may not seem much but it’s an effective way to appeal to your employees’ social and human side. We all need it after all. In addition, this will give you a better opportunity to know one another and build a stronger bond.

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  1. Offer financial assistance and extra benefits

Providing additional services to your employees is one way to help them cope with this crisis. You don’t need to spend tons of money on this. You just need to be smart. Find creative ways to give support to those who are struggling financially.

Is it possible to give them a wider incentive plan? How about expanding sick leave policies or helping them acquire reliable social security claims in case of an emergency? How about releasing cash bonuses or assisting them in getting their subsidies from the government for extra financial support? There are several ways you can help without having to spend great money of your own.

  1. Take time to ask for their specific needs or concerns

Lastly, as much as you can, spend some time asking your employees about what they still need. Make sure they know that they can speak up about the great needs, especially in such difficult times. It can significantly contribute to your crisis management strategy if you can get your employees’ input. Encourage them to voice their concerns and challenges. Play your role as their leader to understand every detail and evaluate how you can respond to them promptly.

By showing strong leadership to your team, you are not just doing the right thing. You’re also sending a message about how businesses should treat their people, regardless if it’s the rule book or not. Emerge from this pandemic with your people and you’ll surely get your company running for a very long time.

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