Prioritizing Employee Well-being

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I just finished tuning in to Receivables Management Association International’s CRCP Series and wanted to share some insight from listening to their presentation that I will be implementing at Tag Process. This is my first article in a series on RMAi’s CRCP workshops and I can’t wait to share everything I’ve learned from these webinars with you over the next few weeks!

This week, I watched RMAi’s webinar about prioritizing employee well-being during Covid-19. The broad applicability of how to navigate our workplaces post Covid-19 is something we all need to better understand.

Extraordinary Times…

As we all navigate the unprecedented situation the Covid-19 pandemic has created, businesses across the country are struggling with how to re-open the workplace. Ensuring that staff is well-informed is the single largest factor to business-wide compliance and restructuring as businesses open back up and is a major step in prioritizing employee well-being.

“Communication strategy is THE critical success factor in a smooth transition when you’re returning your employees back to the workplace.”  

Eric Ziehlke

Having a cohesive workplace message that establishes, builds, and maintains confidence and trust is crucial. As an employer, you may not be able to guarantee comfort for your employees in our current climate, but you can manage employee confidence.

Comfort depends largely on factors such as personal circumstances, perspectives, and opinions whereas confidence can be managed. Managing employee confidence requires planning by management. Carefully outlining what they can expect when they return, what support you will offer them, and what work will look like are all crucial messaging components to establish employee confidence when returning to the workplace. 

Communication to Create Confidence (The Four Cs)

These Communication Strategies to Create Confidence will look different for each organization, but the principles don’t change. 

CLEAR: For example, you may need to outline cleaning instructions and need to define: What safety measures are in place? What resources are available and if there is safety protocol training? What screening might look like at your organization (self-reporting versus mandatory checks)? You’ll need to provide deliberate, timely (scheduled), and factual communication. Part of your communication strategy’s consistency is ensuring a top-down message. This helps keep the messaging clearer.

CONSISTENT: Regular updates help establish a routine in this topsy-turvy time and gives employees confidence to know they are being thought of regularly.

CORRECT: Always ensure that your organization is echoing local or state regulations, include only established facts in all communication channels so there is no confusion. 

CARING: Make sure your tone is sensitive, you are conveying the value of your most important resource (your people) in your messages.


Knowns, Issues, and Hopes

Your organization’s communication strategy’s primary goal is to meet the need of your employees’ need for information. Distilling this information down can be difficult. Try breaking the information down into the following spheres (knowns, issues, and hopes) as follows:

Trust and transparency are always essential communication strategies and become even more important when prioritizing your employees’ well-being in this unprecedented time. Your company’s culture, not only before the pandemic but during will determine the structure of your message. Have you been there for them so far in this pandemic? Have you maintained open information channels and contact? Have you had any remote team building during lockdown? Answering these questions as you develop and implement your communication strategy will help ensure success, compliance, and safety of your people and workplace.


Working with Different Personality Types During Times of Stress

Knowing your employees’ personality types is one way to prioritize employee well-being when returning to the workplace and thinking of employee reactions using the DISC personality criteria (Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, and Compliance) can help anticipate employee reactions to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Even though a consistent, top-down message is important, seeking employee feedback and input to create situational cohesion and consideration of your individual employees is important. During times of stress, people’s personality traits can become stronger. Highlighting your employees’ strengths using their DISC personality type to seek their feedback or ideas about returning to the workplace will help ensure success and compliance. 

An important aspect of ensuring compliance with protocols and procedures for returning to the workplace is to remember that a fundamental behavior principle of people, highlighted by Pete Hinojosa at Insperity is that: “people don’t do things against you, people do things for themselves.” To this end, If your employees are able to see that the implemented guidelines benefit them, that the company’s culture cares about them, this, in turn, will benefit the workplace and ensure compliance.

Generally, working with people on their individual needs and concerns will help ensure they are working for the common goal of the health and safety of the entire organization. The singular benefiting the whole has never been more important in the workplace than now. Your company culture, the empathy, validation of any concerns as well as seeking redressement for these is essential to ensure successful return to work scenarios. If someone is experiencing stress about returning, make sure to be able to answer what benefits are available to them; how their concerns can be addressed or worked around (staggered work schedules, additional workplace PPE)? There is currently no case law for employee compliance and cooperation for this situation so working with your employees to meet critical business objectives is essential. 

We will get through this!

Your greatest asset is your people. Their well-being is your company’s well-being. Remember and implement the Four C’s in your communication strategy to your employees to help ensure success as we return to work post Covid-19. Be CLEAR, CONSISTENT, CORRECT, and CARING in your communication to help define and delineate your company’s navigational path to success in these uncertain times.

I can’t wait to share what I learn in my next webinar! Learning is more fun together: we’d love to hear about your experience with how you’ve been dealing with communication issues during this difficult time. We look forward to receiving your comment below!

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