Resilient organizations not only find ways to manage their workforce during pandemics but also device ways to survive. Because of the novel coronavirus, many organizations are currently facing uncertainties.
Indeed, it has become a significant challenge to manage employees so that each person is safe from the virus. But all is not lost. Using the below five tips, you can effectively organize and manage your large staff during these trying times.
The first thing you need to do is assess how the virus impacts your employees, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. Please don’t stop at the employees, but extend up to their families and friends. It isn’t easy to organize or manage an employee with psychological issues.
If some of your employees have been directly affected by the virus, organize some counseling sessions for them. You can also hold general counseling sessions for everyone.
The next step is to come up with a set of rules to help them stay safe. They should apply the same rules in their homes. Also, come up with an emergency response plan in case an employee exhibits the signs of coronavirus infection.
Transparent and open communication is vital to an organization. Let all communication channels be accessible to enable the passage of information as quickly as possible. Rather than relying on daily morning meetings, you can opt for weekly or monthly meetings. And during such sessions, ensure they adhere to all safety protocols.
Encourage your employees to observe social distancing, wear face masks, and sanitize. The meeting should be as brief as possible, and should only be convened if very necessary.
To keep your employees safe, reduce personal contacts as much as possible. Even on matters of communication, you can use technology rather than relying on verbal communication. You can conduct your meetings through video conferencing and encourage your employees to use phone calls more. For example, if you are in the building industry, you can look for the best construction management software to help you manage and organize your large staff.
If possible, you can identify employees who can work from home and support them with the right tools and gadgets like smartphones or laptops to help them work. Also, try to automate as many operations as possible and use online collaboration tools to reduce the level of human interactions in your organization.
Since you are dealing with a large number of employees, having only a few supervisors would mean that each supervisor will still have many employees under him/her. The best way to avoid this is to break your employees into small groups and appoint group leaders to act as supervisors.
Let these group leaders report to the supervisors. This way, each group leader will only have a few people to interact with. You can offer the group leaders a small incentive to keep them motivated. But you have to be clear to them that this is just a temporary measure occasioned by the coronavirus pandemic. This will ensure they don’t feel entitled to the incentives after the pandemic when their services will no longer be necessary.
Once you have set up proper communication channels and have appointed group leaders and assigned them their supervisor, what to do next empowers your middle managers. Concentrating power at only one central point in an organization during such a time as this is the worst thing you can ever do.
If you have trusted middle managers, empower them to make independent but well thought out decisions. Your middle managers know what’s going on the ground than senior managers and are therefore better placed to handle emergencies. However, you have to define under what situations they can make decisions that touch on the employees’ health.
The health of your employees is your responsibility when they are in the workplace. Anything that touches on their health will have a direct impact on your organization. For that reason, you need to put their health above everything else. Ensure their health insurance is also in place to protect them against any hefty medical bills they may face.