Is Your Staff Experiencing Pandemic Fatigue?
The worldwide response from organisations and employees to the COVID-19 pandemic has been phenomenal in terms of co-operation, teamwork, and resilience. The first half of 2020 was dominated by uncertainty and crisis management with the second half of the year focused on survival and adjusting to what has become known as the ‘next normal’. The fallout from this effort is resulting in ‘pandemic fatigue’ where individuals and organisations are showing signs of exhaustion due to a range of factors including disrupted schedules, working from home, isolation, and uncertainty. On the one hand, businesses are experiencing new opportunities to develop and sustain their business through automation and emerging technologies. There is also a clear and growing need to demonstrate empathy and compassion to employees who are struggling to adapt to new ways of working. Since humans by their nature are ‘wired to connect’ with others, the mere fact that employees are working from home is creating unforeseen challenges. As an employer, you may need to re-energize your staff as we enter the New Year. Taking action now will ensure that your employees can achieve balance, work to their full potential, and progress long after the crisis period has passed. There are some simple steps you as an employer can take to help your staff respond to challenges and disruptions and manage associated stressors.
- Encourage your staff to turn on their video during conference calls – this helps to boost connectivity.
- Let your staff know that they are appreciated – a kind word, a friendly email or an unsolicited phone call will help to bridge the distance gap.
- Listen to key messages or themes and respond sensitively – working from home presents new and unforeseen challenges for your employees. For instance, if space is an issue people may be finding it difficult to work within the normal 9 to 5 office hours. Staff may need to know that there are alternative options to the standard working hours (where possible). This is just one example.
- Virtual ‘Open Door’ – set aside a time in the day or the week where you can set up and open zoom, Webex, teams meeting; let staff know that they are welcome to come and chat with you during this time.
- Provide opportunities for professional development: with people spending the majority of their time at home this is a perfect time to offer professional development opportunities to your staff. This type of recognition or reward can be a powerful tool to motivate your staff.
- Timely responses: it is important to demonstrate to your staff that you are available and that you are listening. Think about how you respond to staff queries, complaints, and concerns; a timely response demonstrates that you are concerned and interested in their well-being.
- Set aside time for non-work related activities [occasionally] – just as you would in a regular working environment set some time for fun social activities; there are loads of examples online if you are looking for ideas – we like this one: https://connecteam.com/team-building-games-remote-workers/
We can Help!
Despite the lockdowns and disruptions caused by COVID-19 staff professional development training is still high on everyone’s agenda. One of the key drivers of this demand is the need to support staff who have had to embrace significant changes to their normal way of working. We have developed a range of workshops to support businesses, teams, and individuals through this challenging adjustment.
The workshops are skills-based and designed to provide your team with the necessary tools to effectively engage with colleagues and teams in remote work situations. Workshops are delivered by a live instructor on Zoom and are highly interactive and engaging.
Individual workshops include:
Virtual Effectiveness (Leadership): effectively lead and communicate with remote employees- sharpen and refine key communication and coaching skills.
Re-Energising Remote Teams: envision an appealing view of working in the ‘new normal’, respond to challenges and disruptions and manage the associated stressors of working remotely.
Psychological Safety at Work: promote communication, trust, and respect within your team to increase your team’s ability to feel psychologically safe.
Team Simulations: create a shared experience for team members to develop new insights and challenge their idea of teamwork and ‘teaming’.
Coaching Remote Teams: learn to use a range of coaching tools and interventions to support productive, meaningful, and sustainable business relationships.
Conversational Intelligence: develop a set of simple communication tools to develop a better connection with others, increase trust, develop meaningful relationships, and avoid conflict triggers
Personal & Professional Development: participants willenhance their personal and interpersonal skills and to progress within their organisation through upskilling and reflection. This is a QQI certified module.
Virtual Interviewing: this workshop is to supports participants to develop a virtual effectiveness approach to career planning, job applications, and job interviews.
Managing Conflict: learn how to identify conflict triggers – implement a range of preventative strategies that foster and promote harmonious working relationships in remote teams.
We have created an easily accessible page on our website so that you can view these in one click. We will be updating this page throughout 2021 as we add new products to the range.
Janet Tumulty 16.12.20