A quick glance at the headlines is all it takes to see that your employees need reliable leadership more than at any time in recent history. Whether it’s news of sinking stock prices, layoffs, or the spread of a virus, your employees will look to you for guidance and leadership. How your company responds to this crisis will determine the health of your company culture next month, next year, and for the next decade.
Deliberate Communication Counts
Keep your communications short, simple, and to the point. Be truthful with the facts, and squash any rumors that start to circulate. Even if you have to share bad news, i.e., regarding lost contracts, layoffs, furloughs, remember that honest, straightforward communication will go a long way toward maintaining morale.
One crucial thing is to communicate your plans for today, tomorrow, and months down the road. While your employees will focus on the immediate impact of the current situation, their thoughts will soon look into the future. Communicate your plans for addressing known challenges, and communicate what you need from employees to protect the company.
If you see work slowdowns, layoffs, and potential closure in your future, let your employees know how you intend to support them in these worst-case scenarios. Get your resources in place and be sure to include details about services, government programs, and other things that will be available to people impacted economically by the COVID-19 virus.
Ease Up on Policies
Is it really a big deal that Karen in accounting wore jeans on Tuesday? Did Jennifer need to leave early to pick up her children from daycare? Is Bob’s wife developing a fever and a cough? Be flexible with your policies right now. While you want to remain compliant with employment law, and you want to maintain a professional work culture, right now is a good time to loosen non-critical policies. Understand your employees are concerned and under significant stress. Showing compassion and empathy will go a long way towards maintaining a healthy, stable company culture right now.
Adapt or Go Extinct
The dust stirred up by COVID-19 won’t settle for a while. When it does, the business environment in the United States is likely to look much different than it did just a month ago. Be ready for that. Your company culture is going to be tested, and it will change. Fortunately, you have the ability to determine how it changes, and what it looks like as your business moves forward.
For executives and managers, this means identifying new ways of doing things. For some companies, it will mean an increase in the number of workers who want to work remotely. For some, it will mean streamlining communications and work processes. Your teams should be meeting now and gathering information that your business can act upon as the economy normalizes.
The businesses that gather data and track what works, what doesn’t, and what opportunities emerge, are going to be the companies that thrive in the future. Moreover, knowing that you are looking forward will help your employees stay focused on their jobs, career goals, and supporting their teams.
Contact Greenlink Payroll at (480) 385-2525 for more information about steps you can take to preserve morale as storms brew over the horizon. It is our pleasure to help guide you through the challenges you face and develop effective plans for moving forward in the future.