As a Manager, you know how important a positive workplace culture can be. Making sure you are engaging your team in the right way and providing the necessary support has never been more important than right now, and getting the basics right can be simple. Your team will always perform better when they are healthy, happy and supported, and during a pandemic that can be particularly important if you want to make sure your team is performing at their best. Here’s how!
- Be attentive and understanding. Everyone has dealt with the pandemic and resulting lockdown in our own way, and sometimes the stress and uncertainty has been hard to deal with. As a leader, you need to take point and let your team know that you are there to help where you can, to assist them in their tasks and simply to listen when they need to get something off their chest. Simply lending an ear can go a long way in bringing positivity into the remote workplace and eliminating anxiety.
- Check in with your team daily. Having a virtual meeting with your team every morning is a great way for everyone to check in on what needs to be done, but it’s also a great way to maintain the team’s general sense of wellbeing and normality. Ask how everyone’s doing, whether anyone needs anything, and how you can lend a hand. Individual calls during the day are also great – you want to make sure everyone’s working, but also that everyone is coping with the stress and anxiety that comes with long periods of isolation.
- Encourage learning and development. At times, you may find that your business is not running at the same pace, which is to be expected. During these times, encourage your team to check out online resources for learning and development. This could be a great time to learn a new skill that your employees may find useful later, and there are tons of free learning and development resources online covering any topic you can think of, from Excel to customer interaction, and from programming to digital marketing.
- Promote flexibility and stress relief. From time to time you may notice the added stress, anxiety or loneliness getting to someone in your team. It’s important to encourage a healthy and productive work environment, and part of this is taking a break or spending time with family from time to time. Encourage your team to take regular breaks, adopt healthy habits and spend time with family! When we adopt new routines we often have difficulty adopting a healthy work life balance or forget to look after ourselves, and this is important to find. A healthy, happy employee is a productive employee.
- Get your team involved in the bigger picture. Our sense of normal business operations has changed drastically and we’ve had to adopt new ways of working overnight. You may not have all the answers straight away, but getting your team involved is a great way to brainstorm new ideas going forward to keep the business profitable. You never know who presents the next great idea to drive the business forward in the “lockdown era”, and your employees will appreciate the feeling of being a part of something bigger.
- Provide resources to support mental health. A recent survey suggests close to 70% of adults claim that this is the most stressful time of their entire career. Mental health issues in the workplace cannot be avoided, and doing so can have disastrous effects. Encourage your team to communicate and seek help, and provide any resources you can to support their mental health. Useful resources are available online and can be found here http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/outbreaks/145-corona-virus-outbreak/465-corona-virus-outbreak
How you support your team during this time will have a lasting effect on your workplace culture so be sure your team knows they are supported, and that you have their health and happiness close to heart. It will make a huge difference to not only the wellbeing of the team but the general mindset in your organisation.