Covid-19 has swept us all like a hurricane and left us with few choices but to accept and adapt to the new normal. The economy has crashed, business went remote, and employees were scattered and oscillating with this sudden wave. Leaders and managers are busy to accommodate; HR professionals have planned out strategies and policies to smooth the work processes and employees' needs.
But what about employee experience?
Amidst everything, it is the employee experience that has been compromised. Uncertainty and ambiguity after the crisis have impacted their lives both personally and professionally. We do not know the employee experience of the future and how future events will shape it. All we understand now is that, in a time of crisis like this, it is vital to enhance employee experience with all our capacity. If your employees are not happy and satisfied with their jobs, it is challenging to sustain a business in the long run.
We can note some changing trends in the employee experience due to covid-19.
Hybrid work where home and office life coexist. The concept of remote work has been around for quite some time now. The key difference here is that people are forced to stay at home. It impacts productivity, work-life balance, mental health, and so on.
It is an emotionally charged atmosphere, be it due to loss of a loved one, loss of a job, uncertainty, loss of normalcy, etc. It is imperative for employees to provide a space for employees to take things at their own pace.
The future of work is changing. Covid-19 accelerated what was already imminent. Be it remote work, upskilling, rise of the digital age, millennial expectations, or a global war for talent.
Here are some tips to enhance employee experience during covid crisis
1. Strong Communication
The first step here is always communication. To understand the internal struggle of your employees, you must communicate with them more actively. As they say, you never lose for over-communication but lack of communication.
You can also run an internal survey to understand their perspectives and what is bothering them. A survey can give you a clearer picture to implement strategies to enhance their experience. It is time for the leaders and managers to be more perceptive and act empathetically. Deepen your connection with your employees and listen to their problems. This would help you bond with them and also build trust.
Since now, most of the workforce is working from home globally. Therefore, to understand the employees' pulse, leaders can conduct weekly virtual meetings to hear out their employees and listen to them actively.
2. Be Mindful and Focus on Well-being
This is the time to stay strong and hold their hands. The uncertainty of the crisis brought many changes to the mindset of the employees. Many are afraid of losing their jobs or keeping a balance between their professional and personal lives. The crisis has not only kept them stressed but also unsure. They do not know what to expect. This is affecting their work experience and their physical and mental health. Providing them the right wellness program and an open forum where they could share their experiences can boost their job satisfaction. Therefore, it is vital to be mindful of their current situation and help them enhance their overall health.
3. Training and Development
The uncertainty had kept all the professionals in a dilemma since there was no game plan to handle a crisis like this. And they responded as fast they could to sustain their business. Overnight, the majority of the workforce started to work remotely. Business and HR leaders did not have a game plan for a crisis, nor did they envision it before. This also led to confusion and miscommunication to the employees who are new to the new communication and collaboration tools. Lack of proper Training and Development has led many to suffer.
Also, in an employee life cycle, training and development are core aspects that the workforce needs to build confidence and satisfaction at their jobs. And the lack of Training and Development can dent their overall morale and experience. L&D professionals must respond to this need to sustain overall productivity and employee work experience. For better employee growth and boost their employee experience, you can roll out tropical programs for remote working skills. And maintain a dashboard that can show the progress for better employee growth.
4. Maintain Engagement
Employee productivity and change in the work cultureengagement are the most vital for any organization. Use the right communication technology to keep that in check. You can help them to understand the goals and objectives and not load them with miscommunication. Too much information and inconsistency lead to confusion and, eventually, low employee productivity. When your employees cannot live upto their expectations only because of communication barriers, it certainly affects their overall employee experience and engagement. And that is worrisome for both you and your employees.
5. Maintain the Culture of Feedback and Appreciation
This is the time when employees need your appreciation and feedback the most. Make you sure you keep that get going. There are enough platforms that you can take advantage of for recognizing and appreciating your employees. When you give your employees genuine feedback or pat them on their back for a work well done, it boosts their confidence and builds respect and employee experience.
Do that virtually and let them know that you value their effort. You can also have peer to peer recognition session to build to strengthen your relationship with them. Efforts like these would ensure your company culture and develop their beliefs and perceptions about the organization. After all, it is the little things that matters.
Times are tough for all in this pandemic. HR leaders must emphasis on providing the right employee experience for employees to sustain their productivity and keep their morale intact. Do let us know your views on the topic and how we all can provide and support the best work culture for the workforce widewide.