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Supporting your employees through the pandemic

Your employees need you more than ever right now. But knowing how to lead your staff through the unknown is challenging.

To help, we’ve gathered the top advice for supporting employees through the pandemic and this crazy world we’re currently living in.

1. Offer reassurance

The new LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index shows that overall workforce confidence is, as you’d expect, low. Your employees don’t know how long the lockdown period will last, how long-term social distancing will affect their role, or if they’ll even have a role to return to.

This has led to many people increasing their job search efforts, with 23% spending more time looking for new work during the lockdown period.

The best thing you can do at this time is to offer reassurance. This includes:

  • Keeping employees updated on business operations.
  • Sharing details of how the business plans to return to normal service when it can.
  • Reassuring employees about their pay, benefits and role.
  • Ensuring that employees have someone they can speak to about their concerns.

 

2. Signpost support

Some employees will be very open about their lockdown struggles; others will suffer in silence.

Therefore, it’s important to signpost relevant support that your employees can discreetly access on the intranet, in emails and on team calls.

Such coronavirus support can include employee assistance programs, mental health helplines, financial advice, or domestic abuse help.

3. Open up communication channels

Just because employees are regularly messaging on slack or attending meetings through Zoom, doesn’t mean that they feel communicated with.

Offices are social places where people chat over coffee, debate the latest Netflix show and moan about football. For some employees, this might be the only social interaction they get.

Provide opportunities for employees to remain social by running events such as virtual quizzes, coffee breaks, or Friday drinks. And don’t forget that different employees have different communication preferences. Ensure that all employees feel included by offering alternative ways to keep in touch, such as WhatsApp, email or the old-fashioned telephone.

4. Promote good health

Looking after your physical health and mental wellbeing is crucial during uncertain times.

Encourage employees to look after their health by enforcing lunch breaks, sharing virtual exercise classes and checking in with employees to make sure they’re ok.

If anyone struggles with anxiety or boredom, think of ways to keep their mind busy without overloading them with work. Could they start a relevant course or qualification, for example?

5. Be human

Above all, be human. We’re living in unprecedented times, and everyone is struggling in one way or another.

Be kind and supportive to your employees and be kind and support to yourself.

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