4 Tips to Help Foster Employee Optimism During a Pandemic

Employee Optimism
In these unpredictable times, keeping your business running smoothly can be challenging.  Even more so if your employees are unhappy, burned out and possibly looking for new employment. 76% of employees experience job burnout at some point in their career (according to a Gallup report on employee burnout) and it’s not just caused by being over worked. How people feel about their work environment can greatly impact job satisfaction, performance and motivation especially in times of uncertainty.

Help keep your employees optimistic about the future, squash burnout and improve workplace satisfaction by paying attention to the following:

1. Job Flexibility

Especially in this time of social distancing, many companies have already implemented a mandatory work-from-home policy. But companies that do not offer this option may want to reconsider.  Employees working from home can alleviate stresses brought on from coordinating childcare, juggling appointments, and the time & cost of commuting. If working from home is not an option, offering flexible scheduling to employees can go a long way to demonstrate trust and recognize work-life balance.

2. Motivation

When employees are given opportunities that mesh with their strengths, their motivation increases. And when employees are motivated, they perform better and are more engaged in their work. Ensure that you position your workers to take on the tasks that they do best.  If they are a good fit for the job, their workload will not be difficult, frustrating, or exhausting.  All this translates to happier employees that take pride and satisfaction in their job.  And that means less employee turnover and a more efficient company overall.

3. Improve Communication

Make expectations and outcomes clear. The goals and expectations of management should be outlined and clearly defined.  Allow opportunities for employees to ask questions and understand what is expected. Another great way to amp up the communication is for management to provide individual feedback on a regular basis.  Younger generations especially value this constant interaction.  This continuous communication helps to prevent problems before they develop and helps to eliminate burnout from stress & anxiety.

4. Support & Trust

Showing empathy and a genuine interest in the emotions of your employees foster feelings of being valued and supported. Offering encouragement and demonstrating outstanding listening skills when engaging with employees goes a long way in nurturing support. And when assigning workload, allow the employee a chance to complete the task without interference.  This shows managements trust in the employee’s ability.

It all comes down to a little give and take, trust and the feeling of being valued by management.  Workers will be more engaged, which translates to increased productivity and a healthier company where employees will be happier and want to stay longer.