The global health crisis has professionals in all industries dealing with uncertainty. To weather the storm, organizations must demonstrate understanding and a willingness to adapt.
As the COVID-19 pandemic causes mass layoffs, economic turmoil, and a rapid shift to remote work, companies search for ways to keep employee morale and productivity afloat.
For Google, that means direct communications from executives reminding employees of the societal role they play in getting the public through the health crisis.
“You’ve heard me talk about helpfulness in the context of moments big and small,” said Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai in a memo viewed by CNBC. “This is one of those big moments.”
Looking to rally your own employees during this difficult time? Relax your policies to meet their needs, suggests workplace culture consultant Heidi Lynne Kurter in Forbes.
“Daycare and school closings threaten to upend the daily lives of working families who have no other options for childcare. Employers should be empathetic, understanding and flexible as workers try to navigate the unexpected changes to their lives,” Kurter says.
Working to educate employees about the situation can provide some clarity and reduce panic caused by misinformation.
“Suresh Sambandam, CEO of Kissflow, decided to bring in a doctor who is also a member of the Microbial Diseases and Infection Control Team from a reputable hospital. The doctor provided employees with real facts about COVID-2019 and helped them to differentiate between real news and myths around the disease,” Kurter says.
Organizations should also make the office-to-home transition as smooth as possible by providing the right technology to employees.
“Managers need to keep a close eye on the productivity of newbie remote workers and manage collaborative projects,” says Victor Snyder on Business 2 Community. “Companies make use of digital solutions to help them manage tasks and keep everyone in the loop about projects and deadlines.”
Snyder points to cloud-based productivity suites such as G Suite and Office 365 for collaboration; project-management tools such as Trello and Basecamp; Zoom or ClickMeeting to hold virtual meetings that sync with your calendar and support screen sharing; and time-tracking tools such as Toggl and Time Doctor to document work hours and time spent on tasks.
But it’s not just technology that will boost productivity—employees need a concrete plan to fall back on as they get used to new working conditions.
“Companies must set goals and establish guidelines to help remote workers know what’s expected of them and keep them on the same page to meet deliverables,” Snyder says.