Learn why leading HR professionals trust ekincare! Explore Now

Webinar - Building employee resilience through constant change

Ever since the world has been put under lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all companies have moved to remote working. While employees are gradually getting accustomed to this setup, companies need to introduce the new normal at workplaces once all of this is over.

In this webinar by ekincare, moderated by Thrilok Abhishek - AVP, ekincare, speakers Ashrita Anthony - HR, Dow, and Willis Langford - HR Director - Avnet talked about how organizations can help employees not just cope with this change, but to recognize it as the new normal, and to succeed and thrive in the face of ongoing disruption.

Increase in remote working and its resulting complications

More than nine months have passed since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Hundreds of millions of people have lived through lockdowns. Many organizations have made the abrupt shift to working from home; millions of employees have lost their jobs. The future looks uncertain. Everyone knows that work will never be the same, even if we don’t yet know all the ways in which it will be different.

A survey of human resources departments showed that the majority of the companies had more than 80% of their employees working from home during the early stages of the pandemic and expect a substantial long-term increase in remote work after the pandemic also.

This pandemic created or complicated a host of issues - 

  • Employees working at home when ill and the inability of some people to set boundaries between work and home.
  • Loss of social connectedness and loneliness for many employees, which negatively affected their performance and commitment to organizational goals.
  • The need for human resource departments to develop new performance management and appraisal systems for remote-working employees.

Considering all these issues and more, it's indeed important to examine how employers as well as employees will adapt.

Strengthening employee culture in unprecedented circumstances

Employees’ lives and jobs across the world have been significantly influenced by COVID-19, and their working experience has been disrupted. While the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing businesses to change their ways of working, embrace new technologies, and rethink their internal communications, employers too are investing time and effort in creating a positive employee experience during the pandemic. 

While there remains a certain degree of uncertainty associated with the current pandemic cycle, companies could take this opportunity to embrace a forward-thinking approach to how they will maintain their ongoing organizational culture. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, employee expectations around flexibility have changed, with many calling for leaders to redefine their approach to culture management.

A few ways to improve employee experience and culture at the workplace during a crisis:

  • Set up a clear crisis communication strategy
  • Understand employees’ needs and concerns by encouraging them to share their thoughts
  • Get your leaders on board to build trust in the workplace
  • Enable managers to build better relationships with their teams 
  • Help your employees stay connected with their peers
  • Make work more meaningful and empower your employees
  • Implement new technologies to enable remote work

More focus on employee health – physical and mental

Businesses are doing their best to adapt to the massive economic and societal flux defined by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, despite the pressures on business continuity, it’s crucial not to lose focus on employee wellbeing.

No doubt employee well-being drives productivity. Employees who feel physically, mentally, and spiritually well are able to show up for work each day, to undertake their work to the best of their ability, and to join company meetings. They are able to offer ideas on problem-solving and innovation and to assist leaders in uplifting team morale as a whole.

Few ways by which employers can focus on employee health

  • Prioritising employee mental health through health coach programs, health and wellness tips, online courses and resources aimed at addressing stress, loneliness, anxiety or depression.
  • Using technology to give employees access to mental health resources – particularly to employee wellness programmes and wellness coaches who are available telephonically or online.
  • Keeping in frequent contact with employees to help them to feel supported and as though they have job security and tenure in the company.

As much as we all might like to return to the way things were, we won’t unless we all work for it. So let’s use this opportunity to create the mentally healthy workplace cultures that should have existed all along. Partnering with a comprehensive corporate wellness partner can go a long way in building a culture of well-being that keeps employees happy, healthy and productive.

Prachi Bharadwaj is an experienced Marketing Communications Executive with a demonstrated history of working in the health tech & higher education industries.