The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which was first detected in Wuhan, China in late December 2019, has now spread to over 150 countries, including the United States.
As the number of confirmed cases increases daily, employers, employees and their families are experiencing immense uncertainty. In uncertain times such as these, employees are looking for guidance wherever they can find it. Employers can help calm some of their employees’ fears by taking certain actions.
How should employers ease COVID-related stress for employees?
- Acknowledge employee fears surrounding their jobs and the company, but also reassure them of their value to the company and the company’s desire to keep them as members of the team.
- Be open with employees about management decisions and ask for suggestions to rectify problems.
- Provide as much information as possible about the pandemic.
- Highlight employee benefits that employees might not know about to relieve any financial stress.
- Encourage employees to take advantage of any telemental health services to preserve their mental well-being.
- Communicate the future of the business with employees often—in meetings, on the company intranet site, in newsletters and in blogs.
- Be empathetic in your communications, as every employee’s situation may be different.
In these uncertain times, it’s imperative that you clearly communicate your business’s plans as frequently as possible. It’s not possible for you to control the pandemic, but it is possible for you to help ease the stress your employees are experiencing.