By Matt Halfpenny, Managing Director, The Property Recruitment Company
Without a doubt 2020 has been one of the toughest years in living history. The unprecedented pandemic and its effect on society is as far reaching as we could ever imagine. Whether travelling into the workplace through lockdown, attempting to work from home while home-schooling children, or working from a cramped kitchen table – it’s inevitably taking its toll across the workplace. Adding to that, the threat of a recession and how it might impact people’s careers is arguably one of the most stressful results of the pandemic.
We want to explore how you might want to look at supporting staff in this time – and spoiler alert, it’s not all about financial incentives. Employees want to feel that the contribution they’re making in these tough economic times is valued – that they are valued. Here are some suggestions to help keep the team engaged:
Pre-covid it was far easier to gather the team to celebrate successes together, but just because you can’t gather with a glass of prosecco to celebrate closing a deal or go for a team lunch to say thank you, it doesn’t mean that these achievements shouldn’t be celebrated. A weekly zoom call to highlight key wins would not only help staff feel celebrated, but would also go some way to tackle the isolation that has become so prevalent.
Encourage mental wellbeing strategies
Not just in 2020, but moving forward it would be beneficial to think about incorporating a strategy to support your workforce’s mental health. A great example would be to look at construction organisation – Graham – who have introduced a wellbeing strategy to support its 6500 employees through an online wellbeing hub. It provides employees with advice on how to manage their mental health through webinars and articles.
Staff will also be able to access one-to-one counselling and support programmes online. There will also be regular online talks that will address the importance of mental health and wellbeing, as well as the training of ‘mental health first aiders’ who have the support of HR to work with team members who would rather speak to a peer.
Recognise staff achievements in a wider forum
To follow along from the ‘face-to-face’ celebration of success – why not take it one step further? Is your company large enough to have a company-wide intranet? If so, use it for a shout out. If not, why not use LinkedIn? You can also encourage others to engage with this recognition too, which really helps with team relationships and camaraderie – something that remote working could really damage.
You should also keep your eye out for industry awards and nominate. The Build to Rent sector has the UKAA awards taking place in November – and even if you aren’t in the Build to Rent market, most sectors will have industry specific awards for you to publicly recognise your teams amazing work.
Make sure staff’s professional development doesn’t slip
If people are working remotely, it’s important to not allow professional development goals to slip. Ensure you’re working with your staff to check in on career progression. In a recent survey, 53% of employees confirmed they didn’t have a clear career plan in place – ensure that your team has relevant online training in place and are supported and encouraged in their training goals. For those of you in the Build to Rent space – make sure you check out our training partnership with UKAA.
Overall, it’s important to remember the value of people in your business – no matter where they’re working from, or if the roles they would traditionally be doing have changed in this time, making sure to also remember team members who might be on furlough. All of the above strategies can help you to make them feel supported and encouraged in these uncertain times.