Managing Employee Satisfaction During Difficult Times

April 26th, 2020   ·   4 min read

We’re living through unprecedented times. With unemployment on the rise and uncertainty in the economy at its peak, businesses and employees alike are having to adapt to a new norm.

We’re living through unprecedented times. With unemployment on the rise and uncertainty in the economy at its peak, businesses and employees alike are having to adapt to a new norm. As more and more companies embrace working from home and boardroom meetings shift to the kitchen table, managing employee satisfaction has never been more challenging. That’s why we’ve compiled a few useful pointers that can help you keep your workers happy, maintain the strong work culture you’ve put in so much effort to build, and foster trust.

1. Reassure and Redelegate Employee Roles

Famed NBA star Steph Curry recently made the news when he partnered up with Linage Logistics, a major food logistics company, when he worked to secure jobs for sidelined NBA arena workers. Samsara, an IoT startup in San Francisco, decided to move their recruitment team on a temporary rotational program within the company instead of laying them off. Multiple investment banks have pledged to move their internships fully online. Providing clarity and structure during uncertainty is a key way to reassure employees and keep satisfaction high. By offering a direction, addressing security, and staying agile, you are not only demonstrating good management leadership, but also exemplifying strong company flexibility, a trait that 51% of employees wish their company had.

2. Be Mindful of Mental Health and Wellness

Since the start of the pandemic, work stress has been on the rise. According to Human Resource Executive, 69% of workers reported the coronavirus pandemic to be the most stressful period of their career. It is important to realise that everyone is in a unique situation now, and you never know the kind of stress employees are facing at home. Working from home, it is easy to pile on projects unknowingly as the line between work and life blurs. Be mindful and extend understanding. With families in confined spaces and normal life at a standstill, providing your workers with space and mental health resources can be beneficial in maintaining employee satisfaction, even through the computer screen. You can help your employees by encouraging them to seek help and reduce the stigma surrounding mental health through active discussions. Alternatively, encouraging online mental health resources and sharing wellness tips can also help dispel workplace stress. The Australian government has also offered a National Health Plan and created a list of resources, such as Online Clinic and Headspace, to aid Australians through the pandemic (Note: Online tools are not a replacement for clinical therapy. If needed, please reach out to your local medical practitioner).

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3. Practising Empathy

Listening to employee concerns is an easy way to help dispel any uncertainty or worries they might have. Through implementing a robust feedback system, you can learn from each other and understand how to improve. For some companies, this is the first time work has gone virtual, so feedback is also an excellent way to improve the experience together. Being available and knowing how to communicate well is a great way to uphold employee satisfaction and display strong leadership.

4. Boost Work Place Morale

With coffee and lunch break interactions impossible, it’s good to stay creative and keep the team engaged — virtually, of course. Whether it be through weekly Zoom kickback sessions or virtual lunch-meets, it’s important to keep the fun elements of work alive during this time; team-building isn’t restrictive of digital games! Experiment with different mobile apps or virtual games that can keep team engagement and connect your employees. From online escape rooms to virtual volunteering, studies have shown that improving workplace morale can help decrease loneliness, which in turn helps with productivity and overall satisfaction.

5. Offer Additional Support

It is important to note that different industries are experiencing this pandemic differently. Of the sectors most acutely impacted by the pandemic, healthcare, retailers, and consumer goods stand out the most. Extending additional support, whether through personal or financial means, makes the biggest difference. Employees want to know that their employers are doing the most to maintain their well-being. Whether it be through strategic partnerships, developing innovative solutions, or simply managing existing work dynamics, protecting the people of your business should be one of the core priorities moving forward. As the pandemic changes the way we conduct business, businesses must also learn to adapt and tailor their responses to meet the changing needs of their employees and the organisation.

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We know this is not an exhaustive list, so share some of the ways your business has been dealing with employee satisfaction and well-being in the comments below! If you missed our last article on managing personal finances, don’t sweat it — you can catch up on it here.


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