How leaders can protect employee wellness during COVID-19
The coronavirus situation has derived in a diminish or lack of concentration, increase in anxiety and stress levels, a weakened inmune system among others. These factors imply a decrease in productivity and engagement among your workforce. That's why we share with you 5 tips to protect employee wellness during these times:
1. Keep communication open and direct
A good way to reduce stress caused by coronavirus in the workplace during these trying times is having open and honest communication with your employees. An example of this is openly discussing with them about possible scenarios that the company could face, and establishing communication channels where they can get updates (even if there are no updates).
Being more transparent with information allows employees to feel more certainty, diminishing the spread of false information (gossiping), as well as low commitment. Also, a leader that shares information is seen as someone reliable.
2. Establish clear and short term goals
During home office (or working from home) the actual time that is dedicated to office duties can get very subjective, due to not having a fixed schedule and having a lot of distractors. It can be ambiguous if the workers consider that they just have to accomplish certain hours in front of the computer, and on the other hand, they can be dedicating more hours than they would in a normal office, but without having clear milestones. That is why it is recommended to set with the team short term goals and objectives, which will prioritize deliverables and that way, give the worker flexibility to have their own personal activities, especially in these times where physical and emotional self care is a priority.
3. Empower your team
It is known that workers that are subjects to heavy workloads and pressure are prone to be under constant stress. However, this could worsen if we add to the formula a lack of direction and low autonomy. That is why it is recommended to empower your team, giving them ownership in their projects through decision making always backed by their manager´s direction.
4. High availability of managers
In order to reinforce previous points, it is important that managers set themselves available not necessarily in a physical way, but taking advantage of technology to have clear communication and open to feedback; listening to their team members concerns, so they can work together on setting feasible goals and ways of working that adjust both to employee and employer needs.
This availability from managers also consists in their openness to delegate responsibilities and give their team direction so they can accomplish established goals together.
5. Facilitate tools for enhancing employee wellness
Taking care of your workforce´s mental health has always been important, but now during covid-19 outbreak it is a priority. It is essential to pay attention to their stress and anxiety levels, to keep them physically and mentally healthy. Once they have that, it would be easier to go back to their “normal” productivity levels, as well as to their commitment even if they are working remotely.
It is also recommended to deliver useful informacion to your workforce so they can know how to take care of their physical and mental health. On the recommendations can be found: doing at least 150 to 300 minutes a week of moderate physical activity, nourishing the body with healthy food, and one of the most popular is practicing meditation; so here is this link with 10 free meditation apps to help coping with stress and anxiety during coronavirus outbreak.