A long-term response
Global crises are always challenging to navigate. When the time for immediate response passes, we have to dig in for the long haul.
Factors that influence operations going forward will be unique to each company. Remote work may continue to play a bigger role than it did before the pandemic. The emphasis is more on employees' mental health and well-being.
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Be proactive in asking employees how they're doing and what's holding them back. That way, you will know you're responding in the right way at the right time.
Employees' health and well-being should come first. There may be a perceived choice between productivity and well-being. But, engagement is a natural by-product of well-being.
People are worried about health, job security, their kids' education, life on the other side of the crisis. Micro-managing will not create focus. Tactics like time-tracking software will only compound the problem. Instead, focus on easing their fears. The more distractions we as leaders can clear away, the more effective our people will be.
An employee-driven approach lets you change policies and practices in a way that is informed by data and not a gut feeling.
You may never get a holistic understanding of your company's health unless you have a conversation with your employees. They will know how you cared for them and made them feel. In turn, that will inform how engaged they are in the long run.
If and when you return to your office after the pandemic, you'll probably notice some changes.
There is ongoing turbulence in the workplace due to the uncertainties provided by the new virus, resulting in a whole lot of people working from home. Normally the work-from-home policies are established in advance, and employees are trained for the same, but current circumstances are not allowing for any transition time.
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