Maintaining employer optimism during COVID-19
In the Philippines, most HR decision makers are optimistic about the future of their companies, based on a recent Survey Report by JobStreet Philippines. Results pointed to a majority of hirers expecting a relatively quick recovery amid the COVID-19 crisis, with two thirds currently feeling positive about their organizations an equal proportion feeling positive about their industries. Furthermore 78% were feeling positive about their future prospects.
SUPPORTING OPTIMISM WITH BUSINESS CONTINUITY
When it comes to disaster recovery, optimism plays a key role in moving a company forward. Studies can attest that organizational resilience has its roots in optimism. For one, it has been proven that having a positive mindset encourages organizations to think long-term—even, and especially, during an overwhelming crisis.
As an employer, you want to make sure the optimism in your workplace endures so that the company can thrive during and after COVID-19. To do this, take actionable steps that will also strengthen your business continuity.
Below are some tips to sustain the optimism in your workplace.
MAINTAINING A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
1. Foster a trusting company culture.
Optimism effortlessly thrives in healthy and trusting work environments. Added to that, companies with a culture of trust more likely outperform those without, according to employee recognition and appreciation firm, O.C. Tanner.
Shift your company culture to one that promotes trust in employees. Encourage them to communicate their capabilities, values, and concerns clearly.
Acknowledge that trust is not easily established in most workplaces. In many cases, it takes time and hard work to earn the confidence of your employees. As a start, you can practice the following:
Be transparent—even when it is hard. Employees appreciate it when organizations regularly update them on important company matters, regardless of the updates being good or bad.
Listen more and encourage dialogue among employees. Give everyone a space to speak up.
When it comes to using your authority, balance consistency and flexibility. Employers who play favorites will find it difficult to gain the trust of most employees. At the same time, employees are more likely to believe in employers who know how to empathize with them.
Introduce new systems of communication. You may come up with an ad-hoc committee to take charge of relationship-building during the pandemic.
2. Practice inclusive leadership.
Especially during this COVID-19 crisis, it is important for every member of your organization to feel assured of their value in the team. Reportedly, companies with inclusive leaders collectively perform better, with every employee inspired to report to work.
As an employer, you must show your sincere commitment to building up a diverse team. Collaborate with talents across the organization to create solutions to problems. By fostering a workplace that rewards initiative, everyone stays motivated.
3. Learn from other businesses.
You probably heard of the saying, “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.” In competition, the skill of observing the strengths and weaknesses of the opponent gives you an edge. When you are striving to thrive in the workforce, this strategy is also applicable.
Observe the tactics of other companies, including their business continuity strategies during COVID-19. See what works and what does not in the market you are catering to. Finally, tailor these tried-and-tested strategies to the specific needs of your company.
Assessing other businesses also helps maintain employer optimism as it reminds you that you are in the same boat as many others. Seeing other businesses succeed amid the world crisis may encourage you to make bolder strides for the organization.
4. Think of sustainable solutions.
While the pressing times might move you to focus on short-term issues, business continuity can only be ensured when you prioritize sustainability.
Again, optimism is the first step towards building a resilient organization. Although this situation seems overwhelming, there are certainly new opportunities that await those who are ready to adapt.
Take a step back and review your corporate purpose. Why do you do what you do? Who are you serving? During this pandemic, what do your customers need from you?
Project where the company will be months or years from now. Prepare accordingly.
Seek partnership. Dealing with a world crisis has revealed to many the importance of unity and collaboration. Perhaps it is time for you to partner with other businesses to create innovative solutions.
Instead of coming up with temporary plans to support the business amid COVID-19, think of sustainable solutions. Your goal is not just to get over the crisis, but also move several steps forward after all this ends.
5. Have a clear crisis management plan in place.
Ideally, a company must always be prepared for the worst. Disruptive events can take place at the most unexpected times. When one is prepared, one can stay positive even during a crisis.
Now that the world is dealing with a pandemic, having a relevant and concrete crisis management plan is all the more important.
When putting together a crisis management plan, avoid vague solutions. For example, your company has agreed to employ a work-from-home arrangement for employees. See to it that this arrangement is duly implemented:
Is the company ready?
Are the employees equipped?
How can HR help?
What do the staff need in this kind of set-up?
This said, ensure that the crisis management plan is flexible and beneficial to employees. To make sure of its efficiency, review this plan regularly, and observe if there are any areas for improvement. Most importantly, seek the evaluations of the employees regarding this plan.
For expert insights on best practices during COVID-19, visit the Jobstreet COVID-19 Resource Hub for hirers. #TogetherAhead, we rise above our challenges.