Employee Management Kit
In a crisis, business managers and HR staff members are presented with a difficult task to ensure unblemished work execution by company employees who remain under tremendous stress. To equip you with a complete toolbox and a "first aid kit" to support and comfort staff in uncertain situations, we developed this Employee Management Kit deck. Set a healthy example and make sure everybody on your team comes out of any crisis as a champion.
With this slide, deliver thehigher leadership's statement to employees. Ensure that the information provided is verified and that the message doesn't sound defensive. Also, mention that the action is being taken to resolve the crisis.
If your staff is working from home during the crisis, ensure that everything is set up for remote work. Use this slide to inform your teams about tools and tutorials for virtual meetings and ways of communicating with each other.
Provide your teams with valuable information about crisis management resources that can help them to cope and make them feel cared for. These resources may include personal counseling options, crisis hotlines and useful literature.
Crises cause layoffs and closures, which create personal turmoil for staff. Thus, in uncertain times, it is essential to establish clear, authentic communication within the company, keep employees informed through regular updates and offer resources and help whenever possible. But most importantly, empower them.
CEO of Magpie Insights, Jarret Jackson, coaches organizations on developing strategies that are rooted in the capabilities of their people, improving the likelihood of successful change and execution. In his piece for "Forbes," he writes: "Empowering employees means asking good, meaty questions that prompt them to think through the problem. For example, rather than saying: 'The sales team needs to boost their numbers,' ask them and their leadership, 'How can your team help increase sales by 3% in the next three-to-six months?' In this way, managers and leaders have a very different role: helping to define and shape the problem, so that a team is empowered to develop a solution. The destination is agreed upon, but the path to get there has yet to be paved.
Consultant Liz Kislik, who helps companies from the Fortune 500 list solve their thorniest problems, in her article for "Harvard Business Review," recommends the following steps for managers to take while managing employees in a crisis:
- Don't separate yourself from your team – leaders who actively share their team's pain often feel more confident making tough decisions, particularly when they make the effort to face their employees directly. When leaders delegate the responsibility of sharing bad news to people who aren't responsible for the decision, it feels demoralizing, disrespectful and lacking empathy.
- Correct your own mistakes as publicly as possible – leaders may feel guilty their earlier information was inaccurate or misleading, but they can reset and repair some of the damage by admitting their mistake and communicating new developments consistently.
- Provide extra support for people who need it – there are ways to offer team members different forms of support. This may include allowing employees who have been laid off to continue to access benefits and services and assisting them in the job search.
- Model appropriate behavior to set a healthy example – instead of just worrying about employees' stress and potential burnout, leaders can help them put the brakes on overwork. "[Leaders] can demonstrate how to maintain boundaries by not sending or responding to emails and other messages outside working hours. They can discuss how they are balancing their own personal and work commitments. At casual get-togethers and Zoom happy hours, leaders can share information about their vacation plans and encourage team members to make and share their own plans. They can also describe their own challenges, and acknowledge employees who share their tips and resources for managing workload and scheduling," Kislik says.
Google and Covid-19 crisis
When COVID-19 shook the world, Google became the first major U.S. corporation to formalize an extend remove work timetable in the face of the pandemic. In July 2020, the tech giant announced that it doesn't expect its roughly 200,000 full-time and contract employees across Google parent Alphabet Inc. employees to be back in the offices until at least the month of July, 2021.
The hard decision came from Alphabet Chief Executive Sundar Pichai after heated debate among Google Leads, an internal group of top executives that he chairs, according to "The Washington Post."
In this crisis, Pichai was mostly driven by sympathy for employees with families to plan for uncertain school years that may require at-home instruction. In addition, Alphabet Chief Executive wanted to make sure that his staff was free from signing full-year leases if they chose to move, "The Washington Post" reported, which also demonstrates careful thinking and deep empathy for his employees.
"I know it hasn't been easy. I hope this will offer the flexibility you need to balance work with taking care of yourselves and your loved ones over the next 12 months," Pichai wrote in a note to staff.