An business is like a machine, and employees are its working parts. No organization in the world can survive if there is a disconnect between employees. The participation and well-being of employees is essential to run the company’s engine. During turbulent times, people are at risk of losing their motivation or drive. For instance, when a business downsizes, it can create concern or worry in the people working there, and they may become socially distanced from their coworkers or you as a leader. Therefore, it is crucial to keep the employees in the loop to regain their confidence in these challenging times.
I have jotted down 12 ways to improve employees’ social connection and sense of security during turbulent times.
1. Give People Authority
When you decide to give your employees more power or authority, this added trust can instill a sense of confidence in them. As a result, you may find this helps in bridging communication gaps between your employees. By giving them this additional authority to make decisions, it sends them a message that you trust them in this challenging time. It will also have the side effect of making them feel included and not alone. This can go a long way to reducing potential insecurities, since it helps people realize that their organization believes in their capabilities.
2. Show Recognition
Recognition is a great motivator because it will allow the employees to feel a sense of achievement. Therefore, recognition is essential to give them a sense of ownership and show gratitude for going the extra mile. As a bonus, this recognition mechanism can help generate healthy competition in the organization, which further motivates people, and is ultimately good for everyone’s bottom line.
3. Invest in Training
Every challenge comes with an opportunity to sit back and rethink your strategy. There might seem to be fewer business opportunities during turbulent times, and you may have more free time to develop new capabilities. You can conduct online training for employees to learn new skills so they can come back stronger.
This will send a message to your employees that you have confidence in them, and that their company is taking care of them, encouraging people to stay with the organization for the long term. Like several items on this list, investing in training can help to reduce peoples’ job insecurities, inspiring them to work harder with fewer doubts.
4. Create a Feedback System
The biggest hurdle in developing employee confidence during turbulent times is the lack of communication. They can feel left out if they do not hear from the upper management. To solve this issue, you can implement a feedback system that will allow your employees to communicate with you daily or weekly to remain in the loop on activities and updates.
There should be an open-door policy that will allow the employees to contact you to discuss any matter. This will help in eliminating job insecurity.
5. Clear Communication of Changes
Difficult times can bring significant challenges for businesses, often requiring several changes to keep the business running smoothly. But before making large changes, you should communicate these plans to your employees. Then, once the changes are made, communicate this to everyone as well, so there is no room for confusion.
The problem with many organizations is that they often fail to communicate these changes, creating confusion in employees. When there is clarity regarding new policies, people will adjust accordingly, and you can avoid the pitfalls of creating these insecurities or confusion. In short, clear communication is essential.
6. Encourage Employees to Connect to Their Peers
The office environment is a great place to socialize, interact, and exchange ideas. When working from home, this socializing culture is disturbed, and it becomes more difficult for employees to contact each other effectively. This can cause loneliness, and generate insecurities.
There are several ways you can step in to solve this issue. You can conduct weekly virtual meetings where everyone can participate and interact with each other. You can provide communication tools to your employees to get in touch with their peers and socialize. This will help in catering to the problem to a great extent.
7. Always Stay in Touch
Never close communication channels with your employees. Ideally, you should communicate with them daily. Even if you have nothing to discuss for the day, then a simple “Good Afternoon” message will also work. It will give them a sign that you are always there to help them in this challenging time.
Always be honest with your employees. Challenging times can impact businesses to a great extent, and companies can incur huge losses. Giving false hope is a bad idea because if anything goes out of hand, then you will be the one to blame. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t still be motivational or supportive, even when communicating less pleasant news.
The essence of transparency is to keep your employees in the loop of organizational matters and let them know the company’s state. This way, you will motivate them to give their best efforts to continue generating business. It will not only encourage them to perform better but also instill trust in the organization.
9. Stay Calm
Becoming panicked in turbulent times can cause personal and organizational loss, causing more harm than good. Therefore, staying calm and patient is essential. Although it is difficult under such scenarios, it is the best strategy for any organization. You should communicate with your team on every matter and encourage them to stay positive and calm.
This calm behavior will let you and your employees put energy into more relevant issues, and the organization’s productivity will also increase. So, staying calm is a very profitable strategy in the long run.
10. Show Flexibility
Employers need to show flexible attitudes towards their employees at all times, but especially right now. You must accommodate when possible and arrange non-standard working environments if required. Encourage your employees to be open with their feedback and questions regarding their needs and requirements.
This will signal employees that you want to take care of them, which can eliminate the social disconnect that stems from remote work.
11. Provide Opportunities
Some employees want to pursue further education, purchase a new car, or upgrade their house. You can offer them a helping hand by supporting them in these endeavors. Employers can partially pay for these expenses as gratitude for their services to the organization. If your organization does not have the funds to financially support your employees in this way, there are other ways you can support them. You can offer additional time off or flexible working hours so they are able to take care of the things they need to do. This will both motivate people and further instill a sense of security about their job.
Turbulent times come with significant challenges that can infuse fear and insecurities in employees. This can cause considerable harm to the organization if their employees are demotivated and socially disconnected. I have tried to gather some ways to improve this factor applicable to organizations of all types and sizes.
Which of these techniques will help your organization the most?