Anyone who manages a team will tell you that it has been something of a journey over the last eighteen months. We all know that having a good relationship with your employees is a huge part of any successful business. You want to keep them happy, you want to keep them motivated, and you want to keep them feeling like they are part of a team. Smaller businesses will tell you that a team is, as cheesy as it sounds, like a family.
During the pandemic, it was sometimes difficult to separate our business needs from our concern for the people that we worked with. Everyone was struggling with their health (both physical and mental), everyone was worried about their family and friends, and everyone was struggling with the isolation of lockdown. Sometimes it felt like asking people to knuckle down and work harder was almost cruel.
But we made it through the last eighteen months together. Right now, things are looking brighter than they have since March 2020 and we are seeing heart-warming stories of people finally reconnecting. If you are thinking about what positive steps your business can take this summer, working on rewarding your employees and improving their situation should be near the top of your to-do list. Here are a few ways you can make things better for them.
Keep Lines Of Communication Open
When things are tough for a business, there is always the temptation for a manager to keep quiet. To act as though everything is fine and it’s just business as usual. But during the pandemic, it became obvious that business as usual was a thing of the past. We were all forced to confront a new kind of transparency, and as hard as it has been sometimes, that open communication has helped to foster a sense of teamwork. As you move into the second half of the year, it is important that you continue to be open with your staff about the challenges that you will be facing.
Look For Ways To Improve Accessibility
While some people took to working from home like a duck to water, others found it a lot more difficult to get their heads around. For a generation of employees that were used to picking up their work at the office and leaving it there at the end of the day, remote working required a change of mindset as well as a new set of skills.
If your business is one of many that is considering making remote working permanent, then you should look for ways to make it as simple as possible. Make sure that everyone has the equipment they need. Talk to your employees about helping them to upgrade to a better broadband service. Encourage flexible working hours for those with other responsibilities. Make it easier for your staff to view their benefits package and manage their personal information with an employee benefits platform. This employee benefits software you can get from Zest is designed with employee engagement in mind, illustrating everything that your company has to offer, and it is easy to use.
Look For Ways You Can Offer Support
One of the hardest parts of managing people remotely has been noticing when people are having a hard time before they reach the point of burnout. We have all read about how many people have struggled with their mental health over the course of the pandemic, and you can’t always rely on people to come to you to ask for help before it gets to that point.
While you don’t want to overstep, it will make things easier to have clear support structures in place. Make sure that everyone knows who they can talk to if they are having a hard time. Talk to them about the importance of looking after their mental health, and stress that you are an employer that will support them if they need it.