by Kenny Dewan & Dr. Kristen Fuller
NEWPORT BEACH, CA, USA, August 20, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — If both employees and employers can agree on anything about 2020, it’s that this previous year has been financially and emotionally draining. Millions of Americans became unemployed, thousands of small businesses were forced to shut down and countless other businesses had to make swift changes in the marketplace in order to prevent losing their livelihoods. 2021 showed some improvement as the economy started to re-open, people returned to work, kids returned to school and people started to enjoy “normal life” again but as the Delta variant surge began in May, uneasiness fell over the United States as mask mandates went back in place in some communities and now many are questioning the economy and their future. Are things better than last year? Yes.
But the future due to COVID-19 still seems to be unknown, which provokes anxiety in many individuals. It has been stressful and mentally and emotionally taxing on both employees and employers alike.
In troubled times, whether it is during an economic recession, a global pandemic, or when a business is struggling financially, keeping company and employee morale high can be challenging. But maintaining strong employee morale during difficult times is necessary in order for companies to succeed. The key to keeping your employees happy is by creating a sense of belonging, so how do we as company leaders establish and maintain this?
Provide flexibility to your employees
During the COVID-19 pandemic and current times, both employers and employees were forced to be flexible, especially with the stay-at-home order, and now with the unknown regarding the Delta variant. Many employees are still forced (or given the choice) to work remotely and companies made this transition to accommodate. Allowing your employees to work from home is the definition of flexibility and hopefully, this flexible mindset can be a “new way of business” in the years to come, even when life and the economy have returned back to normal. Flexibility can also mean giving your employees “summer Fridays” where they can work an extra hour each day during the week to have every other summer Friday off or maybe offering a “floating holiday” each quarter or allowing a couple of half-days per month. Maybe flexibility can mean flexible work hours where some employees can come into the office earlier or later so they can attend to their personal and home life priorities. When a company provides flexible options to its employees, it allows for a positive and supportive work environment and can boost employee morale and work ethic because they feel appreciated and heard.
How well do you really know your employees, your superiors, and your co-workers? It has become the norm that we finish our work duties and deadlines, have simple “water cooler” conversations with our co-workers and simply return to our homes to only repeat this the next day. Of course, some of us make lifelong friends with a co-worker every so often but rarely do company employees get together to bond and learn more about each other. Whether it is company luncheons, company annual outings, or department bonding sessions, taking time to allow your co-workers and employees to focus on each other without having work obligations can be great for both company and employee morale.
When an employee respects his/her boss and vice versa it can drastically change company morale for the better. Providing support to your co-workers whether it is regarding a specific work project or sending encouragement and sympathy during a troubling personal time can mean wonders to your employee. As a company, promoting or hiring an individual into a leadership position is a crucial element as this can make or break your employees’ mindsets. Good leaders teach, encourage, support, and empower their employees. Good leaders want to see their employees succeed and potentially move up within the company. Whether it is sending a king email, delivering a birthday cake, giving a generous holiday bonus, or offering words of encouragement and support; there are so many ways to provide empowerment and support to your employees on a regular basis, without expecting anything in return. When your employees are empowered, your company has great potential to succeed and grow.
Recognize your employees’ achievements
As humans, we all want to be recognized and celebrated for our good deeds and strong work ethic. As a leader in a company, you have the power to celebrate your employees’ achievements on a regular basis. Whether it is congratulating them on a work anniversary or giving them company-wide recognition for a job well done or adopting an “employee of the month” award, there are so many ways where you can give recognition to your employee for their extra work ethic, dedication or success on a project.
Some facts to ponder as we head into a brighter future
• Employees with a strong sense of belonging take 75% fewer sick days compared to employees who feel excluded. These sick days equate to nearly $2.5 million worth of lost productivity each year, per 100,000 workers.
• Excluded employees have a 50% higher turnover rate compared to employees who have a sense of belonging and positive morale within their company. The cost of employee turnover is increasingly high, approximately 2.5 times an employee’s salary depending on the role.
• Employees see approximately a 60% increase in job performance when they feel a sense of belonging and inclusivity within their company.
by Kenny Dewan & Dr. Kristen Fuller
Akua Behavioral Health