It has been a rough spring and although the weather is warming, the promise of a better summer has yet to be made. Whether your business closed briefly, adopted a temporary work from home (WFH) model or maintained business as usual (BAU) throughout the epidemic – the health crisis, the economy and the protests are taking a mental toll on your workers. Now might be a good time to gauge the temperature and disposition of workers trying to maintain business as usual.
First and foremost, it’s appropriate to acknowledge that you are concerned. We are all concerned. Secondarily, it’s important to provide a forum for discussion of their concerns. That could be in a 1:1 or group setting, a formal process administered by HR, or an informal thread started on your Slack, Yammer or Teams channel.
Be honest and forthcoming with your staff as much as practical. Be clear in your communications about your plans for protecting the health of your workers and maintaining a safe and sanitary workplace. Remind folks of sometimes overlooked features of your benefit plans, like mental health and wellness benefits, and provisions for emergency withdrawals or loans from retirement programs.
Finally, be ready to listen to their suggestions for everything from workspace modifications to flexible schedules and more. You may not be able to meet all of their requests but you need to be able to demonstrate that you are including them in the decision making because that is going to lead to the best outcome overall.