In the past six months, companies adjusted working conditions to maintain safe operations amid COVID-19. This meant many work locations had to reduce or suspend on-site operations and shift workforces to remote work wherever possible.
It’s no surprise that the change and uncertainty of workplace conditions have created a strain on the emotional health of the United States workforce. And as companies continue to adjust to function in pandemic conditions, the health, resilience, and wellbeing of the workforce have become a top priority for brands within every sector.
Direct-to-consumer brands have proven to be made up of resilient, innovative professionals – but, the mix of managing both remote and onsite employees is a balancing act that many businesses are still trying to navigate effectively.
In this article we’ll highlight key topics from our recent webinar, “Addressing Burnout, Fears, and Emotional Wellness,” hosted by Multichannel Merchant, discussing key items your brand can implement to help both remote and on-site employees adjust to the new normal.
To watch the webinar in its entirety, click on the video below.
Key tips to help employees adjust to new environments.
Practice radical honesty
With employees working remotely, news of your business’s standing will still spread amongst your employees. Because of this, it’s critical your employees hear news about the organization from the leadership team, rather than through the grapevine. Even if the news you’re sharing isn’t positive, having the opportunity to tell your employees first will provide your team with confidence that you are working towards a solution.
At OceanX we decided to host weekly ‘leadership’ meetings where department leads across the organization discuss hot topics. Keeping every department in the loop on all items happening throughout the company has maintained a sense of connectivity while working remotely. These meetings are also a great format for those to ask questions on behalf of their peers to understand company priorities and direction.
Check-in on your employees with a survey
The majority of your employees will not feel comfortable raising concerns regarding their new work environment. To understand how your employees are adjusting to their new remote office, send a survey they may answer anonymously.
Upon sending OceanX’s company check-in survey, we discovered that our team was eager to still feel connected, and many of which have offered ideas to maintain a sense of community while still working from home. Some of the actions implemented upon completing the survey were the following:
- Monthly Town Hall Meetings to update all employees on company news
- Biweekly emails from our CEO on news and priorities taking place
- “Work From Home Purchase Program” to allow employees to select office supplies needed for us to purchase (additional monitors, chairs, desks, etc)
- ‘Virtual team happy hours and birthday celebrations
Acknowledge your employees
With teams working remotely, it may feel like hard work can go unnoticed. In an effort to keep all employees motivated and happy to continue to work productively, leaders must acknowledge all of their hard work. This can be done through weekly email announcements, monthly awards, bonuses (if able), and more.
At OceanX we have implemented monthly “X” awards to acknowledge those who are nominated by their peers for their hard work. In addition to the “X” awards, we sent care packages to all employees to thank them for continuing to bring positive attitudes and a great work ethic to our company everyday.
Maintain a sense of normalcy
For employees working on-site, new mandates have to be enforced to ensure the health and safety of employees. While masks and social distancing are a new daily routine for employees, leaders and companies must try their best to maintain a sense of normalcy.
At OceanX we’ve installed non-contact temperature checks at the entrance of our fulfillment centers to do our best to keep our teams safe, without adding a new sign-in process. On the floors of our fulfillment lines, we taped X’s to remind employees to remain socially distant, and have required all employees wear masks and gloves throughout the day.
The rest of our operations have remained largely the same. Morning meetings and morning stretches are still part of the normal routine. Catered lunches and team snacks have also continued. Maintaining a sense of normalcy has helped our employees feel happier coming into work, which has helped maintain productivity.