Extended lock downs and quarantines around the world have been tough on everyone. Whether your team has been restricted to working from home or they’ve been working throughout the pandemic as an essential worker, fear and uncertainty abound. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us all to go through certain behavioral changes, and companies are doing what they can to make sure their employees are appreciated and rewarded for all of their hard work during a pretty chaotic year. If you’re looking to do the same, here are five ways you can support your team in 2021 as we continue to navigate lock downs and quarantines.
1. Simplify Communications
Find ways to make it easier for your employees to communicate with each other. As a large corporation, it can be easy for someone to miss a message or forget to respond. Using improved communication software can help your employees communicate more effectively so they can focus more on customer care. If your company has locations in multiple cities, use simple collaboration software that can help everyone stay in touch.
2. Implement Innovative Technologies
Incorporating innovative workforce optimization technology into your business in 2021 is a worthwhile investment you should make for your company right now. Not only can doing so help employees communicate more effectively with management and leadership to get the development and success they need, but it can also allow for more flexible scheduling and better staffing strategies so employees can feel like they can take a day off without leaving the company short-handed.
3. Reward and Recognize
An obvious way to support your employees during difficult times is to pay them more money and recognize their performance. For essential workers, that could include providing hazard pay. If you’re part of an industry in which employees have to work in direct contact with the public, hazard pay demonstrates that you care about the well being of your employees and that you understand the risks they take when they come to work each day. For businesses that are deemed “non-essential”, spot bonuses are a great way to reward and recognize those employees. As the name suggests, this type of reward is given “on-the-spot” at a moment in time when you want to communicate that the efforts and performance of the employee have made a difference to the business and it’s customers. You might also consider giving employee awards, public letters of recognition or moments of appreciation at team meetings to highlight the outstanding contributions of specific employees, while simultaneously providing incentive for others in the company to raise their game.
4. Celebrate Important Milestones
While you might not be able to celebrate in person, you can still celebrate virtually. Let your employees know that their milestones and their work is important to you and your organization. Celebrate their milestones by:
- Offering a free meal
- Giving extra time off
- Offering a bonus or gift card
- Giving them an all-expenses-paid vacation
Celebrating employee milestones improves morale and increases productivity. It’s also great way to increase employee retention.
5. Personalize Interactions
Rather than copying and pasting information for every e-mail, try to write personalized e-mails or make short videos to send to each employee. While it might sound time-consuming, it can create a human connection that employees might be longing for in quarantine. When crafting your e-mails or videos, be authentic and make your feedback specific and relevant to the employee. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and let them know that you share many of their concerns around the uncertainty of the current environment. Show that you care, thank them for their special contributions and make them feel like more than just another company resource.
Supporting your employees in 2021, no matter how long quarantine lasts throughout the year, can make a world of difference in how they perform on the job. Keep the above in mind as you do what you can to support and prioritize them in the year to come.