Coping with stress during the COVID-19 pandemic challenging for everyone. It is not easy for a Human Resource Manager to manage to reduce employee stress and boost productivity. To help you out, we have five stress management solutions to reduce anxiety and make the workers more productive in the current situation.
The social distancing and lockdowns due to the onset of Covid-19 have been challenging for us all. Covid-19 had brought the whole world to a stop irrespective of any geographic location. It has negatively affected the global and national economies. People are limited to their homes, and their day-to-day lives have been disrupted.
While businesses, no matter their type and size, are temporarily or permanently closing down. It has been observed that enterprises worldwide are experiencing the adverse effects of the Covid-19 outbreak. As businesses remain closed, they had to let go of their employees. Some businesses gave unpaid furloughs while others laid off their workforce indefinitely.
Thus, COVID is affecting employees as well as employees equally. According to a study conducted by the MetLife mental health study, workers say that Covid has equally affected them, just as it has ruined employers. They say they are not only limited to homes but also the top anxiety factors for them are financial issues (82%), job insecurity (78%), fear of catching the virus (64%), and social distancing (49%).
These distressing thoughts are followed by thoughts of social injustice and having zero health care or medical facilities because of limited resources. The cherry on the top of the phenomenon of working from home is the primary need for the survival of many businesses.
Without a workforce, your businesses/organization stands nowhere. The protection of your workplace is important to encourage your employees to come to the office on a regular basis and also to keep them healthy. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA), employers should plan to provide a safe workplace to protect their employees from the virus by implementing engineering, administrative, and work practice controls.
Also, provide the staff with personal protective equipment PPE. Next, strictly implement the rules and regulations for the Covid-19, and ask everyone to obey them strictly. Frequently sanitize your work area and make the mask a compulsion for everyone. Furthermore, design a safety plan according to the needs of your business/organization. Above all, share these security measures with your employees, so they feel safe at the workplace. The feeling of safety will reduce their stress and anxiety.
Set Up Virtual Social Events
By now, most of the organizations have turned into remote workplaces. As an HR manager, you can reduce your employees’ level of anxiety by arranging virtual social events. These virtual social events would make workers stay connected. The best thing about these online events is that even if the remote team members are working from different geographic locations, they can still get to know one another.
When employees spend time with each other while having a pizza party or simply having a cup of tea from the comfort of their homes, and discussing what’s going on their end reduces the feelings of anxiety. This act also motivates the remote working employees to reach each other in case of any assistance.
This can be the perfect time to get to know your employees. As most employees come from different cultural and religious backgrounds, this is the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about them and develop a more inclusive work environment. You can share Islamic finder apps to learn more about your Muslim colleagues; you can celebrate Diwali online and sing Christmas carols on Zoom.
Another thing that can reduce employee stress is information. It is essential that you keep your employees informed regarding company policies during COVID-19. Employees are anxious about their job security; the uncertainty is stressing them out. You can reduce this by keeping them in the loop and being honest with them.
You can do this by using accessible tools of communications, for instance, Zoom, Google teams, or Skype. Additionally, share required yet important information in a written document with the staff even if a manager has announced it during a meeting. A written format is the formal way to disseminate information; it is tangible and gives employees extra time to process and respond.
Be Flexible And Understanding
The working pattern of most employees has changed since the onset of Coronavirus. Kids are taking online classes, any house help is on leave, and people have no recourse for recreation. Most people are doing everything themselves, which means busier schedules than usual.
Therefore, employers can help their employees destress by allowing more flexible work timings. If your employees want to schedule their work timings, show flexibility. Moreover, ask them to share their preferences and collect their suggestions. Understand the fact that it might take longer for some employees to make decisions on how to adjust to the changes than others.
Adjust The Sick Leave Policy
It is time to readjust the sick leave business policy according to the instructions of the Federal Government’s latest paid sick leaves requirements. However, this does not mean that every employee would be granted sick leave without any check. For Covid-19, the minimum quarantine time is 14 to 19 days.
Every employee is asked to strictly stick to that not only for personal safety but for the safety of others as well. The managers should Come up with a sick leave policy that works per the Covid-19. Communicate it clearly to your employees, so they know their job will be safe if they get sick.
Employee Stress Management Solutions
Covid-19 is the most challenging time for all of us. Individuals and businesses equally suffer. It is causing stress for the employers and the employees. There can be many factors for developing anxiety in your workers, but the above five stress management solutions can help lead your team and make them more productive without going on sick leaves again and again. If you have any other suggestions for managing a team during COVID, do share with us here.