This has been a crazy time for us all, in both our personal and professional lives. So while there are many things you can do right now to help your organization operate, there are also things you can do to check in with the mental well-being of your staff.
This situation can cause us a lot of stress in our personal lives and it’s important to take action to check in and help each other out. Here are some ideas that you can implement into your current workplace environment to help boost your team's morale.
1. Have a Safe and Clean Working Environment
For organizations who are still working onsite, and you are most likely taking precautions to ensure the safety of your workplace but this can also include communication with your staff. Send emails or post notices of the ways you are practicing social distancing in the workplace. Let staff know where they can access cleaning products, hand sanitizer or other resources so they are aware of how to keep themselves and others safe.
In addition to this, check in with your staff and see how they feel about coming into the workplace and the precautions being taken to protect them from Covid-19. For some organizations there is no way to create remote work so by taking that extra step to ask volunteers and staff if they have any concerns or suggestions is a way to show that you are here to support them.
2. Spend Time Online
Connect with your staff beyond work related conversations. This can be as simple as spending 10 minutes at the beginning of a call to see how everyone is doing or talk about shows you’re watching. You can encourage people to have a zoom lunch together or team activities like a book club once a week to unwind and have fun.
Another fun idea is to create "mindful mornings” and start the day off with a team meditation or positive intentions of the day to focus on getting in a positive headspace.
3. Get Active
Similar to the last point, it’s always good to encourage your staff to exercise or get moving even though we are being asked to stay home. You can share an online yoga or home workout video, or do a fitness challenge to get the team motivated.
Exercise is just as important to your mental health as it is physical, and being that many people are working from home they might not be getting enough exercise. Let your team know if they need a computer for your meetings, if not encourage them to go for a walk while talking on the phone for some fresh air. I sometimes like to take my work outside or go for a quick walk while breaking for lunch to help clear my mind before heading back to the computer.
4. Offer Resources to Support a Work-Life Balance
The crisis, though its affecting us all, will impact each staff member in different ways. Some may have children they are trying to homeschool now that classes are online, others may need elder care or transportation services for work. These challenges mixed with a full work day can be stressful on your team.
Ask your team if there are ways that your organization can help alleviate their stress. It might be useful to send an email outlining resources in the community that can be helpful to your staff. Offering flexible hours is a great way to help your team, especially those with young kids adjust to life at home.
5. Be Forgiving
This is a completely new situation to us all and we have no idea how long it will last. So listening to your team and being understanding of their needs will go a long way in the long run. There are a lot of actions that organization leaders can take to create a positive working environment but the best thing you can do is be there for your team as a person.
By just letting your employees know that you are sympathetic to their situation can go a long way. Know that their working from home environment may not allow them to have a quiet environment during calls, or all the resources to complete all their work at home. Let them know that their best is enough as everyone is adjusting and learning as we go.