Building trust with employees while reopening a business is only successful when employees feel confident that the company or organization supports and values them. The COVID-19 crisis has struck a lot of fear in our lives. Not only fear for our health and our ability to work, but also how we live each day. For employees to embrace the company’ mission and vision, their value to the organization must be clearly conveyed by leadership. For some companies, this means taking additional steps to ensure social distancing or personal protective equipment is readily available. For others, it may require increased flexibility, such as rotating shifts or allowing workers to continue working from home if they have underlying health conditions or childcare concerns.
Employees will be more receptive to returning to the workplace when strong leadership exists within a trust-built organization. To create or build upon a culture of trust, companies reopening should consider the following:
- Be transparent and candid about the challenges.
- Ask employees and associates for their input.
- Reflect that input in any new policies and procedures you put in place.
- Respect their comfort level regarding the COVID-19 virus and communicate the steps you are taking to help keep them and your clients or customers safe while delivering on business needs and requirements.
- Provide a timeline for the initial and any phased reopening.
- Be clear about what you need from them.
- Create some short-term wins to build confidence and momentum.
- Recognize and thank employees for their contributions during both the closure and the reopening process.
- Have a business continuity plan in place and brief employees on the plan should circumstances change and it becomes necessary to act on it.
- Be grateful.
Investment advice offered through Planned Financial Services, a Registered Investment Advisor.