A cat meows loudly and disturbs the virtual meeting. A child appears in front of the camera and interrupts his mother talking. An employee, normally very diligent, must be absent to see the doctor with his father for the third time this month. Members of the team are missing for medical reasons, including Covid-19.
These are exceptional times. The pandemic creates unprecedented professional constraints and creates a lot of psychological issues on a personal level. So how do you get the best out of your exhausted and destabilized team? The answer is simple: be human.
Simple you say?
Tame your reflexes and take a moment to understand what your employee is going through. He complains about the complexity of closing sales deals only by Zoom? Empathize with this professional whose daily life has been turned upside down. Make sure you’ve provided them with the tools they need to reinvent themselves as a virtual salesperson (take a look at a preview of our Telework Governance Guide here). Is someone concerned about the presence of their child while they work from home? Give them flexibility with their working hours. This gesture will be greatly appreciated, and your employee will likely return the favor with greater productivity!
The effects of stress can cause visible symptoms at work such as fatigue due to insomnia, anxiety, or deterioration of a pre-existing condition. Mental health should no longer be a taboo and you should talk about it. Make sure professional help is available for everyone. You can offer access to a platform, such as Dialogue, that allows you to consult a health professional virtually. What’s more, Info-Social 811 is a free and confidential telephone consultation service that allows you to talk to a psychosocial intervention professional. Do not forget to ask your employees how they are doing and thank them regularly for their work.
Having a human approach also means making the work atmosphere fun. Inject a dose of humor to lighten the mood. Team cohesion can really be done remotely. What could be better than a virtual cocktail in slippers? Also, a facilitation workshop to find solutions to a recurring problem can realistically be done virtually! Continuous improvement is quite popular these days: it motivates the troops; it allows to socialize AND to become more effective. Employees are very happy to contribute to the solutions and participate in the achievement of corporate goals.
Finally, we also have empathy for you, entrepreneurs and business managers, who are experiencing great challenges in these uncertain times. We always offer our free consultation time and our immediate HR assistance service that you can take advantage of to bounce ideas and/or issues with us. Let us be in solidarity with each other and understanding of each other’s new reality. Be human, your team will thank you.
By Caroline Thomson, CHRP