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Covid-19 has caused massive shifts in the lives of everyone. The virus has fundamentally changed the way people work, as many are working from home and trying to stay focused in a way which allows them to work efficiently and diligently. The New Normal is one which is full of distractions and challenges for the average employee. If your employees are having a tough time adjusting, they are not alone. There are many reasons why your workforce could be having trouble performing in this new business landscape.
Lack of Trust
It’s always been important to give employees space and put your trust in them to perform, even when unsupervised. This trust has never been more paramount. However, many managers are still stuck with the mindset of having to physically monitor their employees as a measurement of productivity.
The lack of physical supervision has caused many managers to lose trust and confidence in employees before they see any tangible evidence of subpar performance. It is true that the levels of productivity have been more volatile during the pandemic. Employees are trying different methods to cope with working in the New Normal especially those having to navigate additional challenges at home. During this time, it is even more important for managers to stay results-oriented. Ultimately, the lack of supervision should not mean an inherent lack of trust.
Working from home has introduced more changes in employees’ lives than a simple shift of work location. Many employees today are dealing with an unprecedented level of stress because of the virus’ effect on their personal lives too. With the frequent changes of school closures as well as restrictions on social interactions with friends and families, overworked and overstressed employees are also limited in terms of their outlets to release the added pressure.
Managers need to understand the challenges their colleagues are dealing with and be prepared at all times to offer comfort and empathy to them. They need to take some time out of their schedules to check in with their teams, monitor their mental health and work performance, as the two are closely linked.
Lack of Communication
Employees are not the only group who are facing challenges during the pandemic. Management and superiors have also had to double up their efforts in order to reaffirm the priorities and direction for the company. On top of devising how to navigate company strategy, targets and growth amidst the pandemic, management also has the responsibility to convey these information to employees transparently.
Many leaders have left gaps of communication within their organisations, which has caused confusion among workers. Employees should know what they need to be doing, as well as what their peers are working on, even in the midst of distraction that the pandemic has caused.
In uncertain times, businesses need to adapt, but managers and employees may not be equipped to take on the necessary tasks. While traditions and proven existing ways of work have grown the business to its current state, the Coronavirus pandemic has called for the need of innovation and automation for organisations to not be left behind. This is the time to make your employees' lives easier in any way possible and keep them laser-focused on work to help sustain and grow your business instead of spending time on repetitive work.
Employees need to be taught how to start thinking about automating their work, as doing things manually, in the old vein of thinking, can often cause frustration and apathy within the company on a larger scale. Any and all work that could be digitalised should be digitalised.
Lack of Reskilling and Upskilling
Finally, all employees need to realise that working remotely is a new method of work, and, as such, everyone should be adequately prepared. Supervisors and management should produce guides that are easy to use and adequately prepare employees to work remotely and communicate them effectively.
They need to help employees familiarise themselves with the technology know-how that is part of their work, as well as train them thoroughly, in order to achieve optimal efficiency as well as maximise their skill and time when working remotely. While employees should also make an effort to learn, it starts with managers setting the right tone to provide direction to their teams. The entire organisation needs to come together to make remote working a success.
The pandemic has created a radical shift in working practices for companies all over the world. To keep your employees working efficiently and effectively, companies need to ensure that proper communication, training, and empathy is provided to those employees, be it when working remotely or socially-distanced in the office. Oftentimes, it’s not the employees who are not ‘performing’, but the organisation instead that may not be providing them with the right communication, direction and tools to work in an efficient manner.
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