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  • Writer's pictureZoe Spooner

How to Support Employees During COVID-19

Updated: Aug 12, 2020

Stressed Employee
How to Support Employees During Lockdown

The WHO declared COVID-19 as a worldwide pandemic as of March 2020. As a business owner or HR Manager, you may feel at full capacity yourself not being able to predict how the current crisis will impact the economy and in turn your business. You may be starting to think about the mental health of your employees.

Your teams initially may have rejoiced at the prospect of being able to work from home. With no commute and potentially another hour in bed whilst being located just 1metre away from the kettle. To them, it all may have felt like a bit of luxury.

Their initial excitement at working from home may have worn off as little “co-workers”, children, interrupt their work every 5minutes and with bad internet connections they not be as productive as you or they would have hoped.

Adding the potential stress of the impact COVID-19 has and will have in the future it can take a toll on the mental health of some employees.

When your employees are stressed, they struggle to make objective decisions. They may make small errors which could have large consequences for your business. Some may be finding it hard to get motivated to work in this new environment.

If you want to alleviate this potential pressure on your business and support the wellbeing of your employees here are some tips:

1. As much as possible keep things “Business as Usual”:

Keep your business running as usual as much as possible, keep work times consistent. If you are a 9-5 business keep the same working hours.

Right now we are all experiencing a huge amount of uncertainty. Our minds love to plan and organise when there is uncertainty, they can go into overdrive. I.e. Anxiety. As we try to control the uncontrollable.

Maintaining the status quo will be crucial during this crisis. Providing as much stability as possible is ideal. Not only for your employees but for yourself as well.

2. Set up regular meetings with your employees:

As a business owner, you may have meetings to check in with your employees to discuss projects, challenges and progress. Ask how they are doing and if you can support them in any other way. It may also be a time to reevaluate the priorities of projects.

This goes a long way as it shows your employees that you value them which can lead to more loyalty.

3. Take Care of You:

It may sound as cliche as fitting your own oxygen mask first on an aeroplane but it really is important. By exercising our emotional intelligence we have the ability to manage the emotions of others.

Take stock of what you need. Could you do with extra support right now? Perhaps more breaks and giving yourself some time to think creatively as you come up with new ideas on how to move the business forward.

4. Consider Setting up 1:1 Support

If you notice that some of your colleagues are particularly struggling or you want to be proactive then consider offering your employees coaching to support them during this challenging time.

An employee may feel embarrassed about approaching the subject and feel thankful this is being offered as a service.

In the long run, if your employees are mentally stable and content they perform better. Going the extra mile now may pay dividends in the future.

According to The Medium, 52% of people are speaking more about their mental health during this pandemic.

When people become stressed for a period of time they can develop anxiety, anxiety left untreated can evolve into depression.

In order to keep your business flourishing in these unprecedented times, you recognise that you need healthy employees.

Follow these tips and don’t forget to take of yourself too!

If you would like to find out more about supporting your employee’s wellbeing get in touch here:

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