During last month’s Workhuman® Livestream, best-selling author Simon Sinek wisely predicted “we are going to have to deal with the emotional trauma” of this year’s pandemic. That emotional trauma is not only in reference to the major disruption faced by our children and loved ones, but also includes our colleagues and teammates at work.
A new Gartner report titled, “Lead Your Employees Through the Emotional Side of COVID-19,” offers keen perspective for leaders involved with technology, information, and risk management in how to support employees through this health crisis, keeping engagement and productivity top of mind.
No matter what the impact is on employee experience, Gartner advises “Supporting employees through this requires leaders and all layers of management to be supportive, transparent and highly communicative.” Below are a few examples from the report of how employees have been affected by COVID-19 and some of Gartner’s recommendations for navigating these situations:
- Employees are struggling to integrate work requirements with home-life concerns. Many people are juggling a multitude of responsibilities at home, including taking care of young children and elderly parents. Gartner recommends: “Increase support by creating mechanisms for employee concerns to be discussed, encouraging the sharing of ideas to address family needs.” To go further than just the flexibility of remote work, “Empower employees to decide and change where, how, and when work gets done, as needed.”
- Disrupted operations at work are creating operational and personal turmoil. Constant disruption is bound to increase employees’ stress levels. Gartner recommends: “Eradicate the pressure to be present by giving clear guidance (based on governmental and company guidelines) on which and when employees come in or stay away from the office or other large gatherings.” It’s also important to “be clear on what the new work priorities are,” so everyone is in alignment.
- Employees are afraid of the potential impact on their livelihood. There’s no shortage of projections on the lasting impact of COVID-19 on the job market and global economy. Gartner advises companies be transparent in their communication. “While no organization can guarantee stable employment and income, in the absence of information, employees will by nature assume the worst,” reads the report. “Provide transparency around the business, conditions, and the principles that are used to guide decision-making.”
How organizations respond to this crisis and cater to employee well-being will have a direct impact on engagement and productivity. This report outlines important steps any organization can take to ensure a people-first approach.
To read the full report, click here.
Gartner, Lead Your Employees Through the Emotional Side of COVID-19, Christie Struckman, Matt Hancocks, 17 March 2020
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