Boosting Employee Productivity And Morale During the WFH Scenario
The challenges currently are varied for field professionals and those working from home. Safety and social distancing along with productivity is a good balance to achieve, and that cannot be achieved without the involvement and support of the leadership team and every manager in an organization.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major disruptions to numerous aspects of daily life, including work. However, India Inc. quickly adapted to remote working. And while we might not have anticipated every challenge, changes in the business environment and shift in customer expectations, we came together to address the situation and deliver solutions our customers needed most.
Safety needs to be prioritized over everything. Building a resilient organization that can face adversity and emerge with renewed energy is key. Only a resilient organization can motivate employees and boost productivity during the pandemic and beyond. The challenges currently are varied for field professionals and those working from home. Safety and social distancing along with productivity is a good balance to achieve, and that cannot be achieved without the involvement and support of the leadership team and every manager in an organization.
There are certain impactful steps which can be taken to create a resilient organization and boost employee morale and productivity:
With the COVID situation progressing in the country at an alarming pace, continuous communication with every employee is key. Communication is a great empowerment tool and it needs to be maximized with clear, timely and effective messages. Lack of information can make the employees confused and detached. They need to constantly know the happenings in the company, business updates, product launches, various company initiatives and future plans. This is a good time to have discussions around values, credo and culture. These are the aspects which connect people to the company and give employees the feeling of belonging to one team. Digital communication tools can help a long way in reaching out to employees through group chats, team video conferencing and online portals apart from the ever-reliable personal call. Interactive sessions should focus on work as well as employee well-being.
Prior to the pandemic, working remotely was not something that everyone was accustomed to. However, we all suddenly had no other option but to work remotely in order to stay safe. Many of us working at home are still improvising our workstations, trying to find an appropriate corner in the house, and using a laptop for our entire shift.
There are certain things that we each must focus on, like ergonomics. It takes some effort, though setting up an ergonomically correct workplace at home can help maintain a neutral spine. By protecting your body from pain in the neck or back, one can focus on work and make the day efficient and productive.
We also must continue to socialize and stay connected with each other, even if that means doing so virtually. Socializing during break hours at work can help us bond and re-energize.
While working remotely for months on end, there can be feelings of isolation, lack of external stimuli, anxiousness and emotional disconnect – all of which can lead to lessened productivity. To overcome such challenges, we should encourage employees to practice mindfulness, consider yoga or take up any sort of physical exercises.
Family support becomes more crucial in these times. Organizations must ensure availability of professional help and support to employees and their family members, as an outlet to discuss their challenges with a professional counsellor and coach.
People have been experiencing a range of emotions throughout the pandemic and some are emotions that people struggle to deal with. We recognize the need to be empathetic toward one another, especially as our coworkers and their families jostle for adequate space within their homes. We must also be patient as people deal with seemingly minor issues like background noises, low internet bandwidth or missed deadlines due to family matters. This can be best tackled by the managers and employees having dialogue to understand an employee’s challenges and work together to find a solution. As managers we need to empathize with our teams. Small gestures can go a long way and help employees feel connected and a part of the team.
The pandemic is pushing all of us, irrespective of our industries, to embrace technology quickly. We as leaders all need to invest in the right technology and train our people to accept and use new technologies and enhance the learning ability through virtual online programs. We must support our employees in working with new technologies and in working in new ways through appropriate exposure and training. Whether the change is associated with handling virtual platforms, video chats or remote meetings, it’s up to the leaders to manage change effectively for ease of technology adoption.
Creating a holistic work environment involves having an agile, compassionate and resilient workforce. The ability of the organization to unite employees through its vision, mission, values and culture is critical to face adversities in the changing business environment.
This environment has underscored the importance of doing things like clarifying goals and milestones, providing adequate tools to work remotely, hosting performance connections, and simply showing our appreciation for a job well done. It has also emphasized the need for employee outreach programs and virtual socialization.
There is no single formula to boost employee productivity. Each person is different and comes with different aspirations and personal baggage. It is for the organization to create a holistic and inclusive environment and for people managers to maximize the same, to enhance employee morale and productivity.
In conclusion, this pandemic has made us all get creative with how we live and work. It is clear that as we continue to brave the situation, supporting each other’s safety and wellbeing is the top priority.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house