small business support
Let's face it, no one saw COVID-19 coming! The effects of COVID-19 has had huge economic implications on many businesses- small and large. Most businesses went from having normal operations to grave uncertainty. In the middle of this uncertainty is your employees. Some are able to work from home. Some are having to manage kids while their work from home. Virtual meetings are the new norm and what you see on the screen does not always show the true emotional toll that COVID-19 has taken on your employees. Here are three ways you can support your employees and let them know that you care about their well-being!
Create non-work related virtual meetings
Having regular check-in meetings with your employees without it being about work is very important. Let them know that you want to connect to them from a human perspective. Give your employee regular opportunities to talk or vent about some of the challenges that they are facing due to COVID-19. This can be done one on one or through establish small groups. Let them know that you can relate to their struggles and that you are there to support them through this difficult time.
Create COVID vacation time
I know from my own work from home experience that dealing with kids while working is not fun. Couple that with having to guide your children through online learning because schools are closed is not easy either. There are days, where not having to think about work and just focusing on my family life is what I need. Creating COVID vacation time can be a day here and a day there or if that is not feasible, create COVID vacation times that are given in blocks of hours. For example, don't schedule meetings or work between 11 and 1 for your employees or for certain employees allowing those employees just to do nothing. A time for themselves or time alone with their kids to just feel some relief!
Have honest talks about the financials
If your company is experiencing financial loss due to COVID-19, chances are at some point, you will have to make some important financial decisions. Decisions that will ultimately affect all or some of your employees. It is crucial to have those financial talks with your employees about what you think might happen financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Will there be layoffs now or in the future? Will some have to take a pay cut so that you can afford to keep everyone employed? Help your employees navigate through what is happening financially. Include them if possible in ways in which you can all work together as a team to come up with different revenue streams to help combat dismal sales due to the pandemic. The idea here is to create an inclusiveness that will allow employees to further understand current and future financial decisions. You might not be able to save everyone's job but sharing financials might help make them understand cuts if it ever came to that.
About the Author
Dahlia Drummond is a mom, wife and entrepreneur. She has worked in trade show and events industry for years which was highly impacted by COVID-19. Working from home and supporting her clients through this pandemic has been difficult especially working with kids at home. She has seen reduced workload due to COVID-19 and as a business person has had to understand and deal with reduced revenue streams as well. But she remains optimistic that we will get through this and one day COVID-19 will just be a memory.