The global pandemic has us all scrambling to meet health and safety requirements whether it is implementing strict protection measures, changing signage requirements with new protocols, or updating our employee COVID-19 Safety Plan. This was certainly unknown territory for all of us as we learned more about the virus and had to adapt our businesses.
Of course, each province has their own spin on policy requirements including the appropriate age for children to wear masks, store capacity, and the dozens of COVID-19 posters available online for various concerns and communications. Employers spend a vast amount of time ensuring all items are in place on their COVID-19 checklist and implementing additional health and safety measures for their employees and customers. It has also been a tremendous adjustment for employees that are working from home and for employers needing to implement a work from home policy while balancing skepticism about whether productivity is sufficient.
Lets’ face it, this has taken so much of our time as regulations change constantly and we need to be tuned in to the latest COVID-19 updates! We need to survive in these unprecedented times and many small and medium size businesses have struggled financially and have had to make some difficult decisions with layoffs and downsizing. Employees are suffering too with constant worry about their jobs and if they will be called back to work or whether they will be permanently laid off. We have additional worries and stress about income, homeschooling our kids and of course concern about the virus itself and the health of ourselves and loved ones.
It has been a tremendous struggle for all and we each have a different story to tell. It is no surprise that mental health issues have been a key focus because the toll all of this is taking is raw and real. Some companies have been able to provide mental health support while others have focused mainly on surviving and sustaining their business. Even though our employees have been faced with so much to deal with, it’s expected that they still put on a smile and be patient for the customer while remaining positive and focused on the task at hand.
Our greatest asset is our employees!
As employers we need to remember that our people are our greatest asset, and we may have put that realization aside to focus on all the “other stuff’ that needs to be dealt with.
We are stronger and wiser now knowing how to deal with COVID-19 in the workplace, so if you haven’t already, I encourage you to take some time to give your employees the attention they deserve. Many employees had to endure significant stresses over this period or have lost their confidence due to fear and uncertainty about their health and job, and even about the future itself.
Take some time to think about how you can improve the employee experience, make them feel supported, build stronger relationships, and help make them feel appreciated and rewarded. Ask yourselves if you are recognizing and rewarding your staff, are you still providing learning and development opportunities? Employees crave to be valued and recognized more than ever before. Employers thinking about the big picture will be sensitive to this and prioritize employees wherever possible.
Let’s keep employee recognition and wellness top of mind, after all people are key to building our business success! Let’s encourage them and recognize them. Let’s celebrate their successes and truly appreciate and value their contribution to the organization!
Contact Bridge Legal and HR Solutions for practical guidance on developing a more engaged and productive team – (647) 794-5442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.