When Portugal reaches the target of 70% vaccination of the population with one dose, companies are gradually expecting the normality of their employees' lives, believing they are on a good shape for everyone´s wellbeing.
When we talk with leaders about the moment we are living, and the impact on the business, the opinion is common. The impact is clearly negative, registering a 30% decrease of financials results, compared with 2019.
According to the New SBE Economics for Policy Knowledge Centre study, firing was the main cause for leaving work in the first quarter of 2021.
Life has changed forever, and the level of uncertainty we've adapted to, will continue.
Over the past few months, I have been frequently inquired about what leaders can do to make people feel good in the workplace.
Let's go back to March 2020. Most of the companies were neither prepared for the pandemic nor had a crisis management plan in place. A year and a half after the beginning of the pandemic, many companies have only a single emergency response procedure.
After everything we've lived and experienced, creating a more robust crisis management plan is important for employees to feel comfortable, and more confident in their company.
Certainly, everyone needs to learn that to maintain the connection with employees, communication is absolutely vital.
Communication can be as simple as sending a message or creating regular contacts with each employee, in order to promote communication between everyone.
It is important to remember that people need to talk and be heard. Understanding their doubts and uncertainties, their expectations and what they feel is crucial.
Only with this way, management and communication will effectively respond to the teams' needs.
Creating a communication plan helps keep us organized, while also letting employees know what is expected of them.
Ensuring that the team has the tools they need to communicate properly is critical. If you are working from home, supporting the costs of the internet is, at the very least, fair.
One thing is to ask our employees to do their best, another thing is to give them the conditions for this to happen, and at the right timing.
Thinking about internal campaigns using digital, aiming at the involvement and collaboration between people, guided by themes that integrate the company's values and purpose, is one of the ways to reinforce the organizational culture, to which wellbeing is linked.
Congratulating yourself on your birthday, can be a form of recognition, but recognition is much more than that.
We know that since the pandemic starts, the work and effort developed by everyone, allowed to ensure the business activity, sometimes in very exceptional conditions. Working on a kitchen, with the laptop on top of microwave, could be an image that becomes viral, but we don't think these are the working conditions we want for our people, and for their wellbeing.
Some technology companies offered a spot bonus to their employees and others plan to do so, as a way of recognizing their work during the pandemic, existing always space to think about different ways to recognize the team’s effort.
A health benefits program also includes under this chapter. We all need medical care or access to employee assistance programs that ensure emotional balance, good mental health, or be resistant to stress.
Understanding how to interact, support and collaborate with others, being able to resolve conflicts and adapt to change, is also another dimension of wellbeing that is important to consider.
The transition to a hybrid work model, as a mutual commitment of companies and people, makes the level of connection with teams and between teams crucial for the success of business.
According to some studies carried out, it is possible to conclude that companies with higher levels of wellbeing present better results, achieving twice as much employee involvement, fewer days absent, and fewer employees stressed.
Working for wellbeing shows that the company cares about the people, especially in times when uncertainties are constant, and when the behaviours created by the pandemic have changed the way we relate with others.
Por Luis Roberto, Managing Partner da Comunicatorium e Professor convidado do ISCSP-ULisboa
Membro da Associação Portuguesa de Comunicação de Empresa (APCE)
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