boost employee morale

The past year completely flipped the world upside down. From forecasting specialists to well-known psychics, no one could have accurately predicted the devastation brought forth by the Coronavirus. Almost overnight, most people had to switch from a professional work environment to a remote work setting. 

As humans, it’s our natural instinct to resist change. And these unprecedented times have been full of unexpected and rapid changes. Wearing masks, working from home, social distancing, and several other restrictions have changed the meaning of normal. 

Probably nothing has put your Human Resource Management to test like the pandemic. But now more than ever, HR managers need to step up and take necessary measures to make employees feel supported. 

Is your organization struggling to boost employee morale? 

In this post, we’re sharing some actionable tips you can implement to improve morale. Let’s dive in. 

1. Avoid Layoffs

The onset of the pandemic forced many organizations to resort to mass layoffs. With no certainty about when the pandemic will come to an end, employees shouldn’t also have to worry about job security on top of everything else. 

Instead of rushing to firing employees, it’s worth considering alternatives. If work in a certain department has considerably decreased, you should think about transferring employees to an understaffed department or give them the opportunity to wear more than one hat. Employers can also think about reducing hours and compensation. It’s important to clearly and timely communicate such changes to employees. 

2. Host Happy Hours

Because of the social distancing restrictions, many employees might not have met their family or friends in a long time. And this feeling of isolation can adversely impact their productivity. 

HR managers should host happy hours every week or two to help employees feel connected. However, it would be best to keep groups small so that everyone gets a chance to talk and no one feels left out. And of course, talking about work should be off limits!

3. Celebrate Personal Wins

With the severe consequences of the pandemic, there is a lack of positivity, which can be detrimental to employee morale. While there might not be good news to look forward to every day, you can boost employee morale by celebrating the personal wins of your employees. 

Start a monthly newsletter, where employees can share their personal victories, no matter how small. Whether an employee got to see their parents after months or adopted a pet, these nuggets of joy will make a difference. 

4. Improve Flexibility

As previously mentioned, the work environment changed almost overnight. Now employees are working from home, where they might be sharing space with roommates or family. 

It would be unrealistic to expect employees to keep up with their regular 9-5 schedule. Employers should offer flexibility and allow employees to start working earlier or later in the day to manage all their commitments. 

In addition to flexibility, the management should also give employees the necessary technology and other resources so that they can seamlessly transition to a remote setting. You can also suggest employees get standing desk attachments, which can be helpful for taking breaks between work. 

5. Share Daily Updates

Keeping employees in the dark is just going to fester unnecessary panic. The leaders and HR managers should make it a point to share regular updates about the organization and any upcoming changes. 

You can dispatch information on a monthly or bi-monthly basis about how the organization is planning to handle the pandemic. In addition to keeping employees informed and calm, this is also necessary to discourage toxic gossip and rumors. 

6. Provide Health & Wellness Resources

It’s difficult to concentrate with a full-fledged pandemic going on. But HR managers can ease some of this anxiety by providing employees with necessary health and wellness resources. If an employee has tested positive, they should be offered proper time off to recover. 

It is also advisable to share resources to help employees maintain an optimistic outlook. 

The Bottom Line

This is an incredibly stressful time for the world. Your employees may be taking care of a sick parent or their own health complications. It’s more important than ever to lead with empathy and kindness. Establish clear channels of communication to ensure your employees feel seen and heard.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels