As a business owner, there are simple things that you can do to relieve your employees stress. This is becoming even more important in today’s climate while stress is running rampant. A strong leader in the face of all this can go a long way and increase productivity.
Assure your employees you are doing everything you can to keep them safe. If you are an essential business that deals with customers, provide your employees with the necessary tools to stay protected. Many stores have implemented a plexiglass screen in checkout lines, to create a barrier between your employees and customers. If you are operating a store or somewhere with a front desk, these can be very inexpensive to set up. Employee stress will go down when they know that they are safe. There is nothing worse than being afraid to go to work, but also afraid not to go to work. Let them know that you are keeping up and following all safety guidelines. Ease their fears but implement all the safety measures you can. Simply knowing that you are operating with their continued safety in mind and monitoring the situation is enough to settle some stress.
Try to be as honest as possible with your employees during this time. If you believe you may have to close down for a while, tell them as soon as you know. If you need to cut someone’s hours or send someone to work from home, make sure everyone is on the same page. This keeps gossip and speculation from spreading. This is a way you can support your employees during this time and keep lines of communication open. Talk to all your employees about any factors that may be making their jobs harder, such as bad equipment or lack of help. Even if you do not have the ability to change the situation right away, talking to each employee will make them feel heard and appreciated. Studies show that this alone can improve productivity and morale, two things that are very important right now. Make sure that everyone’s duties and responsibilities are clear and avoid confusion at all costs.
Keep an Open Door
Let your employees know that they can come to you when a new concern arises. While it is always a good idea to have an open-door policy, now it is more important than ever. Employees who feel that they can talk to you about their struggles will be less stressed out than thinking they have to handle it all on their own. This also gives you a more positive perception across your company, creating good feelings all around. Furthermore, you can nip problems in the bud. If your employee comes to you as soon as a concern arises, you have more time to work it out.
Manage Remote Workers Stress
If you have found yourself with newly remote employees, there are still things you can do to reduce their stress and increase productivity. Keeping in touch remotely is the most effective way to do this. Even a quick conference call can provide clarity and closure at the end of the day. A conference call at the beginning of the day can help to motivate and set daily goals. It’s so important to be on the same page when working remotely. Even confusion about expectations can cause your employees to stress. So, make sure everyone is clear on what is expected of them and keep communication lines open. It may also be a good idea to implement an instant messaging system or your preferred choice of communication. Instant messaging allows for easy communication throughout the day without spending an entire phone call to answer a question. Whatever system works for you and your employees, stick to the daily plan.
Should You Need to Furlough or Layoff
If you cannot afford to pay your employees during this time, you have a few options right now. A furlough is like putting a pause on the employee. Essentially they are under a temporary work stoppage and will come back after a determined time. A lay off is the discontinuation of employment. Both are usually the result of economic hardships and could affect many employees across the company. Depending on your state, a furlough could be seen in the eyes of the law as a temporary layoff and may still qualify for unemployment benefits. So keep in mind that employees that you must furlough or layoff due to the pandemic may still be able to apply to unemployment. Study up on your state unemployment laws before doing any layoffs of furloughs and consider the financial impact it could have. The specific laws also take into consideration the size of your company. Some companies with less than 50 employees may be able to get a break, so take your size into consideration when researching the implications that furloughs and layoffs could have on your business. Even though this will be extremely stressful for both you and your employee, if handled correctly you can mitigate some of the stress, and hopefully be able to bring them back on with no bad feelings as soon as things blow over.
If you are struggling with handling your employees’ stress, maybe it is because they are using outdated equipment or working too many hours. It might be time for some financial guidance and upgrades. If you need additional funds to ensure your employees’ safety during this time, First Union Lending can help. Click here or call 863-825-5626 today.