Since the announcement of Lockdown due to Covid-19, I have had the opportunity to support several clients and attended a number of webinars to hear how other companies are managing to support their employees during this challenging period. I have found that there is a no ‘one glove fits all’ approach to managing the changes to homeworking and the speed at which business continuity plans have kicked in depends on the culture of the organisation. I have noticed that there appear to be certain similarities amongst companies focused on engaging and supporting their employees during this difficult period and these consist of Communication, Wellbeing and Training. Here are examples relating to each topic;
Communication: Use of technology to promote collaboration (e.g. WhatsApp, Slack, MS Teams, Yammer etc.,)providing team updates, encouraging line managers to check in daily with staff, regular updates from CEO/ Senior leadership.
Wellbeing: Finding ways to encourage a sense of fun and community spirits such as holding virtual cooking classes, quizzes and exercise classes. Reminding staff of access to EAP and Mental Health First Aiders. The offer of online courses in mindfulness, back and posture, mental resilience and nutrition workshops. Employers showing flexibility when it comes to working hours around personal commitments (e.g. childcare/homeschooling). The offer of virtual Financial wellbeing sessions.
Training: Developing skills required for remote working both the technical (e.g. how to use Zoom, MS Teams etc.) and soft skills (e.g. tips on how to manage and lead remote workers, how to run virtual meetings and how to be an effective remote worker etc.). Supporting line managers with virtual ‘drop-in clinics’ for them to ask HR any questions they may have on how to handle matters related to Covid-19. Providing employees access to online learning.
If interested, the CIPD has a variety of useful resources to support remote working
For further training support on remote working, feel free to get in touch