Covid-19 has set a new trend of working from home and it’s not going to end anytime soon as it appears. Due to this, there is a challenge for the organisations in managing their most critical asset i.e. Human resources. A challenge which is not only limited to making sure that they remain motivated while working from home but also to figure out ways in which their time can be utilized productively by helping them learn new skills, providing them emotional and financial support and making them realize that they are critical to the success of the organization.
This is a well-known fact that happy personnel are most efficient and are more likely to stay with their employers in the long term and it has never been more important for the employers to understand that the work along with the workforce needs to be contended in a way ensuring highest productivity levels while inculcating a sense of belongingness in them.
Some of the measures have been listed down to inculcate the “WE” feeling amongst employees as “WE are US”.
1. Maintaining Work-Life balance: During lockdown, employers should ensure that working hours of the employees should not go beyond the normal office working hours or else it could have an adverse effect on the efficiency and productivity of the employees. However, working late hours is a two-edged sword, on one side, Increased working hours may indicate high pressure but on the other side it may also indicate that employees are inefficient. Organizations need to have a thorough understanding of the tasks they are giving to their employees during these times of crisis and also set a benchmark to monitor their performance which will not only make sure they are working effectively but also efficiently within the boundaries of normal business hours.
2. ESPIRIT DE CORPSE:“United we stand, Divided we fall” is an old proverb. Generally, employers have a very good professional relationship with their employees but there is a huge gap between the two when it comes to personal relationship. Employer should ensure that their communication with the employees should not always be to check-in on progress. Periodically, they should also reach out to ask how they are doing, what are the challenges they are facing during lockdown, etc. It helps to establish an in and out of the office relationship.
3. Providing proper infrastructure facilities: Managing work from home becomes difficult and frustrating without proper infrastructure facilities and thus, organizations need to ensure that employees have the required technology and access to the server. Further, there should be proper management of data on the server so that they do not have to face any technological issues. Organizations shall also set up an inhouse support team for answering the grievance calls of the employees in case they face any technological issue.
4. Making a constant connection within the Team:Amidst the turmoil and anxiety created by Covid-19, it is important to maintain connection within the team and ensuring a sense of belongingness amongst them. Various team building activities can be implemented by the employers on weekly basis such as arranging for online office games, having team health challenges or arranging for a meeting over lunch via video conferencing. These activities can make wonders to the morale of the employees while working from home.
5. Scheduling learning sessions/webinars: While working from home, Employers can arrange for weekly training sessions like webinar on the recent developments for the employees. Educational apps like “Kahoot” can also be used for arranging quiz on the recent topics thereby enhancing the knowledge whilst creating a competitive yet cooperating environment. Nevertheless, quizzes are good food for mind while breaking the monotony.
6. Employee Recognition: Appreciating an employee and acknowledging them for their work can also be a simple yet trenchant way to make them feel empowered and motivated. These dingy times are making us realize that “SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL”, organisation’s little concern can be rewarded by lifetime loyalty of employee. Also, employers and teams need to celebrate the special occasions like their birthdays, work anniversaries which will enhance engagement and connection.
Therefore, employers should make sure to call out to the employees on important personal milestones like:
7. Deferring Increments but offering a variable incentive which can be paid at the year-end: Due to the current situation of crisis, every organization is facing a turmoil in terms of their financial condition and to make the situation worse, this crisis has come at a time where the increment cycle for the employees was just around the corner. Now, the dilemma is how to convince the employees that the organization will not be able to provide any increment and with that also making sure that employees give their best for the job. To manage this tricky situation, what employers can do is to replace the increments with variable pay-outs at the end of the next increment cycle which shall be dependent upon employee’s performance and achievement of the milestones during the year. Though, it will defer the payment of increment to the employees but will also motivate them to work harder as they can still get their hands on a large amount of compensation.
8. Issuing regular health guidance and assistance to the employees: Regular health guidelines can be given to employees on a daily or weekly basis by the HR team of the organization.
Proper guidelines for sanitization, cleanliness can be regularly issued to the employees.
Organisations must keep checking with employees about what they are going through, feeling and thinking or what motivates them.
As it is rightly said that “you don’t need to build a business, you build people and then people build the business.”
It is inevitable that we stick to this golden rule even when the employees are working from home.