The drastic and necessary measures regarding the coronavirus put us all in an exceptional situation, which most of us have never experienced before. The strong impact on private and business life makes mutual trust between colleagues and managers all the more important in order to pull together as an organization and get through these times of crisis well.
In order for organizations to keep their operations running, employees must be supported and motivated. They need to realize - even when working remotely - that they and their security are the focus of attention. The following recommendations will help you maintain employee engagement and motivation. But we also show you how you can use the crisis to try out new ways of working and show your employees your unbroken trust so that they can master this extraordinary situation together.
Taking responsibility as a manager
The current situation is by no means simple - existing processes, procedures, regulations and agreements can often no longer be implemented. As a manager, this means taking responsibility for the organisation's current measures. It is not about pointing the finger at the guilty party - but standing up and doing the right thing. Existing practices must be rethought - and you should stand up for your employees.
Promoting exchange and participation
The coronavirus unsettles employees: Give them the opportunity to share their concerns and fears, but also their wishes and hopes, on a platform and to communicate with each other - and thus to counter the uncertainties. Uncertainties and fears about job security also add to some people's concerns: communicate openly, fully and transparently with your employees. Present facts and figures and the reasons why you decide something. Make it clear to them what you currently expect from them - and what you don't.
Involve employees in decisions
Especially in uncertain times, a high degree of credibility of the management is essential. So keep up the dialogue and make decisions together with the workforce - wherever possible. This applies to both smaller and larger organizations. If joint decisions are not possible, it already helps to involve employees in the decision-making process - by taking an honest interest in their opinions, expectations and concerns.
Appreciation and recognition are still central themes. Thank your employees for the good cooperation and that they are indispensable for the added value of the organization, especially during this extraordinary situation. But taking time and listening to others is also a sign of appreciation.
Consider the private situation of employees
Encourage employees to contact a person of trust directly if they are particularly affected by coronavirus measures. Establish platforms on which employees can offer each other help and organise themselves. Also be flexible with regard to working hours in general and meeting dates in particular. Take into account the individual (care) situation of the participants.
The crisis as an opportunity to promote agility and digitisation measures
Only through a healthy culture of trust will your organization and your employees continue to be innovative and creative. Because nothing blocks innovation more than stress. And without creativity and innovation, we cannot face this situation and the necessary change.
Especially in these times, we are all called upon to face this change courageously, and to see the situation as a challenge in which new and creative ideas can secure the existence of organizations.