After 18 months of living through a pandemic, COVID Fatigue has become a real and serious concern for businesses everywhere.
When the experts and news media first alerted us to COVID-19 and explained that through fastidious social-distancing, mask wearing and washing of hands was key to controlling the spread, people were willing to participate in something they thought would be required for a brief period of time.
Eighteen months later individuals everywhere are beginning to struggle with the requirements of this new normal, lashing out at the unfortunate enforcers of masking rules everywhere from airplanes to grocery stores.
With 40% of workers reportedly now considering changing jobs as a result of all this mayhem, business owners need to be alert to frustration seeping into their workplace as few can afford a turnover of 40% of their staff. Here’s what we recommend:
Listen for what makes them happy; listen for what makes them sad. Mental health issues are rampant as a result of the pandemic with the demand for services outpacing the system. According to a recent survey, employers not following through on promises to recognize mental health issues was identified as a leading cause for employee dissatisfaction. While you as an employer may not provide support for mental health issues on site, you can certainly have a practice in place for a “check-in” to see how folks are doing where you listen carefully for signs that may indicate a problem and be quick to refer them out. However you address it, you’ll find that individuals who feel supported become more faithful workers.
Listen to their ideas. We’re living in a changing world. Right now, new and great ideas can come from anywhere. Employers who listen carefully and then implement the ideas of their employees will benefit from creativity and earn loyalty that keeps staff happy and in place for years to come.
Listen for dissatisfaction. Employees who are openly critical of operations, customers or other staff members may cause turbulence among other staff. Be quick to address and quell their concerns before negativity spreads like a cancer. Also recognize that individuals who openly share their dissatisfaction may already be on their way out the door. Take this indicator as an opportunity to evaluate: do you need to persuade them to stay, or should you encourage them to make a more rapid exit?