In the last 6 articles, we have covered the 6 components that contribute to providing employees with a positive employee experience that is key to attracting, inspiring and retaining valued employees and talents.
2020 has seen how COVID-19 sends the entire world into its tailspin, dislocating and disrupting how things are usually done at home, at play and at work. The hard truth is that normalcy will never the same. We have to adapt and live with the current challenges as COVID-19 continues to pound on us. Until the fully effective vaccines are found and made available for all, the new norm for how people and businesses interact, is here to stay…wearing masks, social distancing, limited number people in face-to-face meetings, sitting arrangements in schools, cinemas, telecommuting, and more as the list goes on.
If you have been following the previous 6 articles, you would now have understood how employee experience contributes to an organisation’s ability to retain their people that are the key to achieving organisational outcomes. The question to ponder over is “How can organisations create and sustain that needed employee experience in light of the onslaughts by COVID-19?”
In this article, we will be providing some ideas on how your organisation can still provide positive employee experience through Trust In Leadership in COVID-19 times.
Trust In Leadership: A Key Component In Positive Employee Experience
1. Caring for your people: One of the best ways to win the trust of your employees is to demonstrate genuine care. In times of COVID-19 pandemic, many people are affected by anti-COVID-19 measures imposed by the government. Being socially distanced and working from home can be overbearing for those who do not have a decent place. A search from Google will show how much damage the virus has caused to the entire world. Your employees might be among those aversely affected by the almost year-long anti-COVID-19 restrictions, needing encouragement from their supervisors. This will be a great opportunity for managers and supervisors to show that they care for their people. Keeping in touch with the employees through various virtual platforms will be good start to encourage and spur them on. Covey’s concept about emotional bank account suggests that each time a person does something positive for the other, a ‘deposit’ is being made into the recipient’s emotional bank account. The more the deposit the greater will the be the trust built. As trust in leadership is a paramount to providing a positive employee experience, leaders can leverage the COVID-19 situation to build solid trust with their people. Whenever permissible by law, paying employees a personal visit while observing the anti-COVID-19 measures, like wearing face mask and keeping the 1 metre distance, will greatly increase the emotional bank account with them.
2. Maintaining Work-Life Balance: Working from home can be fun for some but for many, it means having to deal with the blurring working hours and even lunch hours. This has somehow impacted the work-life balance, a subject that has been a constant issue with employees globally for decades. One way to show that you care is to restrict access to work systems outside of office hours to help the employees get sufficient rest. This objective for the restriction must be communicated to the employees ahead. In doing so, employees can appreciate the care extended to them.
3. Trust Begets Trust: It is important for supervisors to show that they trust their employees by not micro-managing especially in COVID-19 times like this. Focus on the results rather than micro processes of how things are being done will certainly be appreciated by the employees.
4. Virtual Coaching as a Helping Hand: Supervisors and managers who extend a coaching hand to their employees would certainly strengthen the relationship with them. You may want to let your employees know that they can reach out to you anytime they encounter a problem that is beyond their ability to resolve. Perhaps, you may want to initiate virtual peer coaching to keep the team engaged with each other while WFH.
5. Enabling Employees To Act: To empower is to give employees the authoring to act and make decisions. However, that is not sufficient to get things done when resources are scare despite having the power to act. To facilitate the smooth running of a function, employees need the necessary resources like manpower, machinery, equipment, competencies, time and more. Working away from office poses even a greater challenge as employees are not able to access to their supervisors as much as they need to be, unlike in a normal face to face setting. Managers that choose to enable employees to act will further build on the emotional bank account, thereby solidifying the trust relationship with their employees.
6. Lookout For Burnout: Research has shown that employees are suffering from burnt out due to the blurring work hours while working from home. Employees from down-sized organisations are more susceptible to burnout as they have more being put on their plates while not having working colleagues to talk to or help in the extra loads. As a caring supervisor, you can regularly check in with your employees to look out for burnout. Offer them short leave breaks to recuperate before they totally fizzle out. Work on flexi-hours to accommodate the employees’ domestic needs. These acts will certainly build trust with the employees and that in turn will enhance their positive work experience.
In our next article, we will be featuring how you can create a positive work environment to sustain positive employee experience in COVID-19 Pandemic.