employer branding during covid

How Businesses can Support and Take Care of Employees During COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic has affected the world in many different ways, and one way it has changed how we live is through our businesses and careers. 

Given the many challenges that the pandemic has given employees, it’s a good idea for businesses to still look into different ways to take care of their employees. Below are a few ideas to help you get started.

Grant flexible work arrangements

More and more businesses are opening their offices and allowing their employees to get back to work in the workplace. Many people are open to coming back and working in the office, but not everyone is comfortable. Also, since there is the delta variant to worry about, it’s understandable that some people aren’t as open to coming back yet.

If you want to show your support to your employees during the pandemic, you should still grant those who need flexible work arrangements. If there’s anything that we learned from the pandemic, some people’s work styles have adapted very well to working from home while others haven’t.

Providing flexible work arrangements allows your employees to have as much freedom as they need to do their responsibilities well. It also allows your employees who have commitments outside of work to accomplish that as well. 

Support parents with quality childcare options

Children are especially vulnerable with the delta variant, which is why you must support parents by giving them a chance for at-home work arrangements. However, some parents might want to work in the office but cannot do so because they have limited options for their childcare issues.

With that said, you can help your employees who are parents by partnering up with reliable childcare options so that they can get their kids safe and sound while they work.

Your employees won’t be able to focus on the task at hand when they’re too busy worrying about their kids that they might have left behind at home, which is why offering childcare options is a great idea. 

Aside from offering childcare options, you can also give them subsidies. You can encourage them to work from home in the meantime to keep their kids as safe as possible while having supervision of their parents. 

Provide resources to reduce work stress

It’s a good idea to invest in resources that can help your employees’ mental health in some way. The circumstances that have fallen upon society are stressful for everyone, so it’s a good idea to give everyone the resources they need to reduce their overall stress levels. There are plenty of resources that you can provide.

For example, providing free membership to meditation apps can be an excellent way to engage in self-care practices. These meditation apps are great for everyone, whether they work in the office or from home.

Maybe it’s been a while since you had everybody take an extended break aside from during the holidays. Look for opportunities to give your employees an extended break to recuperate despite working from home. That way, they can return to work more focused and energized and less stressed out about their circumstances. 

Maintain regular communication

Many people have found it challenging to adapt mentally to the pandemic’s challenges because there is a lack of socialization and regular communication. It’s not just regular communication with coworkers but also communication with family members that is becoming a problem because of the pandemic.  

With that said, one of the best ways you can support and take care of your employees during the pandemic is by ensuring that you maintain regular communication. Listening for their feedback on how you can improve the management style is a great way to know what they need and give them. 

Providing regular updates about office work and such can help your team feel more grounded. 

Offer monthly allowances

Financial compensation is always a significant help for your workers, especially when they’re working from home. Some people don’t have as much equipment as they would have had if they worked in the office, but they might still be unable to work in the office. That’s why aside from offering monthly allowances, it’s a good idea to provide them with the equipment they need. 

Since many people are still working from home, one thing that they might miss out on if they were not working from home would be the perks. Therefore, aside from the monthly allowances for work-from-home gear, you should also consider giving that would have been present in the office.

However, give a version of it that makes sense when they’re working from home. For example, some companies have teamed up with food delivery services and have shown that perk to their employees. 

Give extra days off

Another reason why many people have been more stressed out working from home than they were working in the office is because there’s not a reasonable boundary between work life and their personal life. 

Since they don’t have to be in the office at a particular time and leave at a specific time, it becomes much harder to draw the line between work and home life. Sometimes some clients might make it difficult to draw that line as well. To make up for that, it would be a good idea to give your employees extra days off.

They can use those extra days off to recuperate, or they can bond and connect with the people in their lives. Even though many of them might still be working from home, that doesn’t exactly mean that they’ve been spending quality time with one another. 

Giving those extra days off will allow your employees to have a more positive mindset when they come back to work. 

Invest in learning and development

Another way you can support your employees during the pandemic is by helping them invest in their learning and development. 

Your employees shouldn’t feel obligated to be productive 24/7, even during their off days, but for those interested, you should give them opportunities to develop their skills. If your business hasn’t started yet, now is the best time to invest in a learning and development program for your employees.

Your learning and development programs can encompass a variety of skills, both applicable to an employee’s skill set to improve their current ones or find new ones. By investing in your employees’ development, you get more skilled workers in return. 

Train leaders on emotional intelligence

It can be frustrating for leaders to find that many of their employees are having a hard time fulfilling goals in the workplace. If this is a common issue nowadays, the best response isn’t to scold everyone but to acknowledge that there is a problem that needs solving.

Consider investing in emotional intelligence training for your workplace leaders to help your leaders be reliable right when their team needs them to be. Leadership training, as well as emotional intelligence training, are two things that are worthy investments for your management team as well as other workplace leaders.

Training them this way teaches them to be more empathetic and to find solutions that don’t bulldoze over other people for the sake of achieving workplace goals. It’s about accomplishing these goals in a way that doesn’t attack or compromise other people’s well-being. 

Encourage employees to get vaccinated

As much as possible, you want to encourage your employees to get vaccinated. Some people might still be hesitant, while others might have personal reasons for why they don’t want to get vaccinated. For example, they might have a specific condition that makes taking the vaccine impossible for them.

Instead of forcing your employees to get vaccinated, it’s best to educate and encourage them to make the decision and help make the workplace safer for everyone. Aside from that, it’s the fastest way for everything to get back to normal. That’s why you should learn to persuade anyone in the office to get vaccinated as much as possible.

Recognize employee milestones and accomplishments

When your workplace employees are working so far apart, it becomes harder to do everyday things you used to do in the office, like acknowledging milestones and accomplishments. That’s because it’s much harder to organize celebrations when everyone is in a different place.

Just because it’s much harder to coordinate celebrations doesn’t mean you should forgo recognizing employee milestones and accomplishments altogether. Instead, your best bet is to publicly have town hall meetings where you bring up accomplishments that certain employees have achieved.

For more significant milestones of the company overall, it’s a good idea to find a way to organize celebrations that everyone can enjoy no matter where they are. 

By taking the time to recognize individual employee accomplishments, people will feel more motivated in their jobs. When you take the time to celebrate huge milestones, everybody will feel like they are still a part of a team no matter how far apart they are from each other. 

Over to You

By taking the time to learn how to support your employees even during a pandemic, they will be more productive. Their productivity will stem from a positive place instead of from a stressed-out mindset, which is more sustainable in the long run. That’s why if you’re a business owner or a leader in the workplace, make sure that you apply these tips so you can care for your employees during the pandemic as much as you can.