During this uncertain and unprecedented time, many employers have been placed in the position of either having employees working from home, on stand-down, or on leave.
Just as you would do if people were at work, it's important that you keep your employees engaged with your business, even if they're not physically present in the workplace. It's particularly important that you do this for people who are stood down, as they may feel disconnected or forgotten about as time goes on. After all, you're going to want and need them back working for you when all of this settles down!
Below are some tips on things you can do to keep your employees engaged and "in the loop":
- Send a fortnightly email to all your employees – even just to say "hi" and ask how they are going.
- Keep them updated about the business - inform them about how your business is performing during this time when compared to other organisations, to highlight that this is a global issue and we are all in this together. And if you do not have answers to their questions, then be clear about that too.
- Be empathetic. Remember, not being at work or working from home is challenging in its own way! Encourage people to keep talking to each other, don't micromanage them, and focus on results and output, not time spent logged on.
- Consider sending employees things like birthday or service anniversary cards during the period they are not at work to let them know you're thinking about them.
- Organise a regular video catch up – this can be formal or informal. If you want to have fun with it, you could theme it – footy jersey Friday, High Tea, etc. Do a quick round-the-room "what's up" catch up with everyone.
- Remind employees of support mechanisms you have in place – for example, do you have an Employee Assistance Program? Is there someone they can call if they have questions / need information / need support?