Decisions taken by the coordination committee of October 16th seem to give the feeling of a déjà vu. Working from home is back (though was it ever really gone?) which could dampen companies’ hope and ambitions to welcome back their employees and go back to the “good old days” before human interaction was replaced by a screen.
But how much can we compare the current situation to the one we experienced in March? There’s no comparison. Here’s why. The element of surprise no longer exists, as all companies have had to adapt and work their way through the ups and downs of working from home. Riding this second wave of working from home should be easier, as procedures are already in place, colleagues are more familiar with all the IT tools and the managers are better at managing their teams remotely.
However, absence rates are increasing everywhere: a larger part of the population has tested positive and companies are forced to put arrangements in place to accommodate their employees’ absence, which could disrupt their activities and services. Moreover, there is growing fatigue against the government’s measures: citizens are more reluctant to follow the rules especially when it comes to limiting social contacts. At a professional level, where some are “overconnected” and “Zoom-fatigued”, others feel “disconnected” and find it difficult to resonate with their job or company.
How does one transform this perceived setback into a successful comeback? The question lies with your employees. By asking them the right questions, you will get a better idea of your employees’ mood and how they will face this second wave. Show them that you care about their well-being at work, even when they are working remotely. By keeping an open dialogue with your colleagues, you will be able to reach into their creativity and come up with new solutions.
Companies which have monitored their employees during the first vague discovered that they trusted their managers, appreciated all their internal communication efforts and but also needed some reassurance.
What do you know today about your employees’ morale? Are they still trusting their managers? Do your (middle) managers feel supported or do they need additional training and coaching? Do you know if your employees still sufficiently read, believe and act upon the information you sent out since last Friday? Do you know if your employees tap into their creative mind to reinvent their work or your company?
By monitoring your employees state of mind you will find a goldmine of information. It will also allow you keep up the good spirit and ensure your employees’ voices remain heard. This small investment often yield a big return.
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