Our world has been more than a little crazy these past few years. Having a global pandemic spring up seemingly out of nowhere was certainly not on anyone’s 2020 BINGO card. Employee well-being worldwide took a huge hit.
The unanticipated downturn has been rough, especially for businesses and employment. Many jobs vanished. Stores closed. Many people either had to work remotely from home or not at all.
Today, it’s been more than two years since the start of the pandemic. A lot of people have been talking about work. Going back to the office, staying home, the mass exodus of people quitting, the essential vs. non-essential, and so forth.
Regardless of what’s been happening, jobs have become a more touchy subject for some. However, if you are a boss who has a whole workforce underneath them, then you need to make sure that your employees have been doing okay.
A business’s employees are its lifeblood and need to be nurtured. Now that jobs are being observed more closely as to how employees are treated, supervisors need to keep up to date in a rapidly changing world. They must use business practices that will have employee retention and keep them happy. Here are a few simple ideas for ensuring a safe, happy, and productive workplace.
1. Ask people how they are doing…then listen to the response.
When you are out monitoring the employees, ask how they are doing. Stick around to ask follow-up questions.
Demonstrating interest in your employees will relax them when they’re around you. You may even find someone with the same interests. Ask them about family, life, and other such things. But, remember, there’s a fine line between the power dynamics of a boss and an employee. Make sure you don’t ask any inappropriate questions.
2. Ensure that no one is overworked.
Because of the pandemic, many places are running on skeleton crews. This has led to stressed-out, overworked employees. This in turn has led many people to quit.
At your workplace, make sure that everyone is operating at comfortable work levels. Don’t overburden them with lots and lots of work. That can lead to missing deadlines or sloppy products. Help them out by either getting in there yourself…or start looking for new employees ASAP.
3. Brighten up the workplace.
Some workplaces have dreary architecture and aesthetics that can make the whole place seem gloomy. Decorate it in a pleasing way to make everyone feel more welcomed.
You can also encourage employees to decorate their desks, offices, or cubicles with things that are a part of their life. Pictures of family, novelty gags, and other things can help motivate employees and bring some color to the workplace. (Again…they need to know what’s appropriate and what isn’t.)
Other ways to make the workplace a more welcoming space are throwing birthday parties or bringing in pizza for lunch on a Friday before the weekend. These gestures make employees happier and it helps undergird employee well-being…and retention.
4. Facilitate one-on-one conversations.
These conversations are typically perceived as never being fun. Fix that.
Mind you, this doesn’t have to be in the context of a performance review, but if you notice that an employee is falling behind recently, find out what’s going on. Have a private conversation with them to ensure that everything is okay.
Whatever is happening in their personal lives can affect their work. Be sure to remain empathetic and be an active listener to help find a solution to their problem.
5. Do what you can do to help.
Perhaps there are serious issues going on with your employee. If so, involve HR or your higher-ups, if you have any.
However, if you are the boss, then you need to make conscious decisions and figure out what you can do to help. If you are the caring type, then go the extra mile and do what you can to help that employee with his or her well-being. If not, then endeavor to be an understanding person. Help them in whatever way you can at work to ensure that they are not overburdened.