There are seemingly countless lists, tips and online resources to help us all through this COVID-19 pandemic. The ubiquity of tech resources is tailor-made for such a crisis. Here are two tips based on our experience so far.
Tip #1: Spend time reviewing online resources and make sure you’re sharing relevant and helpful information with your employees.
Without question, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is the most exhaustive and reputable source for helpful information. For you employers out there, you’ll find this CDC page (Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019) to be especially helpful.
Tip #2: Remember that your employees are human and share your same anxieties and fears.
You probably did the same as us. You shared information about washing hands, cleaning common surfaces, using hand sanitizer, practicing social distancing and more. You likely also shared helpful tips about working at home and staying focused and productive.
But, have you thought about the anxiety created by the lack of face-to-face contact with other humans, the inability to laugh at a colleague’s weekend exploits or the casual exchange of a smile or a simple “good morning” early in the workday?
Such human interactions are important. They are natural to all of us and are sorely missed at times like these.
As professional communicators, we think about things like this. Here are a few things we have done that have worked for us. I share these hoping you will consider what might work best for your situation.
- Extra Staff Meetings: In our standing Monday morning staff meeting, now happening on Zoom, we share successes for the past week, opportunities for the coming week and, typically, some just barely appropriate-for-the-workplace stories of weekend activities. We’ve added a Wednesday morning session as well. We encourage people lingering a little longer, sharing a bit more.
- Zoom for Personal Use: We encourage employees to use the office Zoom accounts for get-togethers with family and friends (so long as they try not to block-out other’s business meetings). People still need to giggle and laugh or even cry and worry with family and friends.
Back the heck off: For the Type A drivers in every office, back off the pedal a little and leave time for what, in the past, you might have thought was unproductive. Enable team members to be humans first.