Business NOT as Usual - Post-COVID Considerations of Employee Morale
Before COVID emerged in our lives and our businesses, business environments were operating as usual. As an attorney, I (Amy) would head into the office, sit at my desk with a cup of coffee, and grind out my work for the day. Certainly, in this day and age, technological advances have allowed many businesses to seek out alternative ways to create a remote work environment, but 15 months ago, no one could have imagined that work environments would need to change and adapt so drastically.
Even now, more and more businesses have been - and will continue to be - seriously evaluating whether their work environments will be more remote than in-person. How will that affect productivity? How will that affect the bottom line, assuming a reduction of overhead costs?
More importantly, how will that affect your employees, the work culture, and employee morale?
Employee morale and culture will certainly be affected by the ever-changing operations of your business. As a business owner, you may have had a thumb on the effects when you were interacting with your employees in person on a daily basis. Now, given remote working and virtual meetings, how can you - as a business owner - ascertain the morale and culture of your employees?
The three top tips I recommend to clients to implement in exploring morale and culture concerns are:
Communication (you knew that one was at the top of the list!)
If you have been following our insights, you know that Laura and I are constantly stressing the importance of communication. When it comes to your employees, it is crucial to communicate with them. Make sure that your employees know who they can speak to with concerns about their work environment, issues regarding logistics of remote working or in person working, etc. If your business is more remote, communication will keep the lines open with your team and ensure that you (as the owner) remain visible to your employees. Without a captain steering the ship, the crew members can feel lost at sea. Without a business owner leading his or her team, the team can lose sight of the business’s visions and goals. Ensure that you are making intra-office communication a daily priority.
When an employee or team member raises a concern or identifies what may not be working for them, address those concerns and implement the changes necessary. Implementation not only addresses the concerns raised, but it also makes your employees and team members feel seen and heard. This, in turn, bolsters your employees’ morale and fuels a team culture. Let’s face it - these are new times with new issues arising on a daily basis. Any suggestions to help make business run smoother and more effective should be welcome and seriously considered, particularly when your own team members are offering them.
This is where humanity steps in - as a business owner, you need to understand that the stressors of everyday life are affecting your teams on a daily basis. Can you say “virtual learning,” or “quarantine” ten times fast? So, evaluate whether you are placing emphasis on the job being done well over the facetime of your employees clocking in and out for the day. In the process of evaluating perspective, you will inevitably evaluate your own business’s visions and goals in the process. What does it mean to be a member of your business’s team? What expectations do you want to have for your team? Is there room for grace? Have your policies adapted to the change in business, insomuch as your business now requires fine-tuning and adjustments every day? Without this perspective, without the willingness to adapt, your employees will feel the effects of the static in your business. Make sure that you acknowledge the need for perspective as you navigate the changes to business “as usual.”
Disclaimer: The information contained in this post is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls and communications. Contacting us, however, does not create an attorney-client relationship.