Taking Care of Your Team Members During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Showing effective and compassionate leadership has never been more important for today's businesses. Ensuring that leaders put employees first is the best way to help a company endure the COVID-19 crisis.
With the entire world feeling the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses have found themselves in a precarious position. While virtually every enterprise is guaranteed to feel some degree of financial sting, the safety of your most precious assets – i.e., your team members – is infinitely more important than profit during this trying time. After all, if your employees can’t depend on you to prioritize their wellbeing at this point in time, when can they count on you? Business owners and entrepreneurs looking for ways to help guide their team members through this global crisis will be well-served by the following pointers.
Fully Embrace Telecommuting
No matter what your personal views on telecommuting are, fully embracing it is one of the most effective ways to keep your team members safe throughout this crisis. In order to flatten the curve and control the rate of infection, people need to isolate as much as possible. The more time your employees spend outside of their homes, the more opportunities for infection they’ll encounter, and it won’t take long for a single COVID-stricken employee to infect your entire workforce. Since carriers can be asymptomatic for weeks before the infection becomes apparent, it may be too late to control the spread by the time the initial carrier is noticeably ill. Additionally, for some carriers, the virus manifests itself through mild to mid-level cold or flu symptoms, so the infected party may believe themselves to be suffering from something less serious and come to work sick. Keep in mind that even if a carrier only has a mild case of COVID-19, the people they spread the virus to can have far more serious cases.
It is also vital that lines of communication be kept open while employees are working remotely. For guidance on how to keep your business’s finances stable during this time, Shakespeare Martineau’s Chris von Strandmann has offered advice on developing effective contingency plans.
Keep in mind that even if a carrier only has a mild case of COVID-19, the people they spread the virus to can have far more serious cases.
Send Money to Employees in Immediate Need
Many of us live paycheck to paycheck. Due largely in part to an ever-increasing cost of living, building robust savings simply isn’t feasible for most members of the workforce. That being the case, a single medical emergency, furlough or delayed paycheck can prove financially ruinous. As such, if any of your employees are in immediate need of emergency funds, now is the time to be generous. Whether they’re dealing with steep medical bills, require help making rent or need money for food, there’s never been a better time to show your team members just how much they mean to you. Fortunately, there are many convenient ways to send money to people in need.
Relax Stringent Deadlines
The world has changed dramatically in a very short span of time. Not only has the virus caused many enterprises to change the way they do business, it’s prompted many people to rethink their individual priorities. With people concerned about their personal safety, worrying about loved ones and dealing with sick family members, some individuals have had no choice but to put career matters on the backburner. In light of all the outside issues your team members are dealing with during this time, you should consider relaxing stringent project deadlines. Work can still be important, but with a pandemic ravaging the globe, it shouldn’t be your team’s foremost priority.
On the subject of deadlines, if you are worried about the pandemic leaving you unable to complete your contracts, then you aren’t alone. Consider looking into whether these contracts might be mitigated by frustration or force majeure clauses.
Giving Sick Employees Time to Recover
Few things are more difficult than effectively doing your job while sick. Additionally, employers who expect team members to perform their usual duties while stricken will illness generally aren’t looked upon favorably by the general public. With this in mind, allow any employee who’s fallen ill to take a paid break from work until such time as they are completely better. Their recovery is infinitely more important than any financial setbacks you may suffer.
For the vast majority of us, the COVID-19 pandemic is a completely unprecedented occurrence. Aside from the few centurions who were around for the Spanish flu, no one in the developed world has experienced anything of this magnitude in their lifetime. There’s no denying that this is a frightening time to be living through. With infection numbers increasing by the day and a definitive cure not currently existing, even the most levelheaded among us can’t help but feel tremendous worry. Additionally, given the scope and severity of this virus, businesses – and world economies – are sure to be adversely impacted. However, in these troubled times, it is imperative that the safety and wellbeing of your team members take precedence over profit.