Lowering Employee Anxiety
As cities start to reopen and businesses attempt to return to some sort of normalcy, many business owners are faced with the fact that some of their employees aren’t completely comfortable with returning to work yet. Or, if your business was fortunate enough to remain open during mandated closures, your employees may be stressed about the possible exposures from working with the public during this time. So, how do you work on lowering employee anxiety and keep them safe while working? Here are some tips to help keep the worries away.
Provide Paid Sick Leave
If you run a small business, we understand the financial burden that may come with providing paid sick leave for your employees. But, this is a much better option than having an employee coming to work while sick because they couldn’t afford to take off from work. One sick employee could wipe out your entire staff and customers could also become infected if you’re public-facing. The last thing you’re business will want is the negative PR that will set off like wildfire if a surge in cases is traced back to your business.
Set Clear Expectations
When employees are at work, it’s important that clear expectations are set for what is expected from each employee. If masks are mandatory in certain areas, every employee needs to be following these guidelines, every time. If an employee sees someone not following these new rules, they need to have a way to report it. Employees shouldn’t have to feel that they need to police themselves, this could lead to confrontations between employees which no one wants.
It’s important to remain transparent with your employees during this time. It will be hard enough on them having to worry about staying healthy, they don’t want to add the worry of possibly losing their job if stay-at-home orders or mandated closures occur again. Have weekly meetings with your staff to let them know the status of the company and be open with them about what your plans are if downsizing has to occur.
Show You Care
When your employees come to work, they want to know that they are valued and that you care for their well-being at home and work. Provide mental health days for them to take a day off to refuel without having to take from their vacation and sick time. Provide them with proper cleaning supplies and procedures to keep the workplace clean along with any PPE that they are required to wear while at work. Screen your employees before every shift by taking their temperature and ensure they aren’t experiencing any other symptoms. Give them time off to get tested if needed. Going the extra mile for your employees will help give them the reassurance that they need to keep working during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Don’t wait until your employees are at the breaking point before you address lowering employee anxiety. Be ready with precautions and procedures already set and have time set aside to listen to your employees’ concerns so you can address them promptly. While this may be new territory for everyone, taking these steps to ensure your employees are comfortable at work is a great place to start getting back to a sense of normal at your business.