Most of us are now past the first month of the “Great Pause of 2020.” Employers and employees are starting to ease into their temporary work situations awaiting the next phase of the pandemic. Regardless of whether your business was on the winning or losing end of recent events, the current environment is putting a strain on employees. They are being challenged by a range of obstacles from proper Internet access for working remotely to fear of their safety by going back to the office.
We recently introduced our thoughts regarding the impact on employees by potentially restarting the economy in identifying the Four Phases of Employer Workforce Recovery: Monitor, Prepare, Readiness, Recover. Employers will first want to focus on the Monitor phase.
The conventional thinking around surveys is that they are a one-way feedback model: employee to employer. The reality is that every employee touch is part of their experience with their employer. The Monitor phase of our current work environment is based on the need to stay in touch with employees in their new but potentially temporary work situation.
Newly remote workers may want to continue to work remotely, but employers may not want to promote these work situations long term. Employees who have stayed at work while others worked at home may have concerns about the employer putting them at risk. Some may feel increased commitment based on their employer’s response to the crisis. All of these various reactions will be important inputs as employers plan their workforce strategies going forward. For employees, it will simply be important that their voices are heard.
The best way to explain the Monitor phase is this: In the 1950s there was an employer who was trying to find the paint color that would make workers most productive. Every time they painted the walls, productivity went up. After seeking feedback from employees, they found that employees were motivated because the employer cared enough to continually paint the walls for them. Employees appreciate when employers continually pay attention to them by asking for feedback and input. Right now, this may be the best an employer can do particularly for a furloughed employee that the employer will want back in the future.
To address the needs of employers during the Monitor phase, we have evolved our StayRight tool as a way to capture input from various workgroups at a regular “pulse” cadence. Our specific questions can help amplify current needs and future red flags. These are budget-friendly tools that we can offer as our way of giving back during the crisis. We can help you get up and running right away. Feel free to contact us to discover how we can help.