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Ways To Keep Employee Morale Up During The Coronavirus Outbreak

Date Created: 28/03/2020
The threat of the Coronavirus has since turned into a crisis impacting workplaces, the stock market and the health of individuals all over the world. While most organizations have a crisis plan in place, many are ill-equipped to deal with the severity of the Coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.
 
Companies who were once resistant to the idea of allowing their employees to work from home are now forced into making it a priority. As the confirmed cases and the death toll rises, employees are becoming increasingly paranoid. Morale is rapidly declining as many fear for their lives. Also, they’re overwhelmed with the change to their normal routine due to children being home and warnings becoming more urgent for the elderly.
 
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The amount of fake news rivals the real and even the real news is more than enough to cause concern. The reality is, businesses can’t simply stop operating because of the coronavirus and remote work for many is not a possibility.
  
Here are three ways employers can reduce panic and keep employee morale up during the coronavirus outbreak.
  
  • Be Intentional About Communications
Leaders mustn’t get sucked into the panic. Employees look to their leaders and model their behavior especially in times of crisis. Therefore, they must remain calm and manage their emotions. Employers should keep employees and contractors updated on the situation and invite them to engage in the discussion. To prevent the spread of misinformation through rumors and gossip, companies should only share credible sources. Additionally, they should address discriminatory behavior and remarks toward those who wear face masks.
  • Relax Policies And Adjust Guidelines
Daycare and school closings threaten to upend the daily lives of working families who have no other options for childcare. Employers should be empathetic, understanding and flexible as workers try to navigate the unexpected changes to their lives. The last thing an employee need is their employer being rigid about them working from home to take care of their family until they find an alternative solution.
  • Mitigate Risk And Educate
Employers should refrain from forcing employees from traveling to countries where the Department of State has recommended against. Companies have a moral and legal obligation to look after employees, whether it’s mitigating travel risk or looking after their general health and wellbeing. Also, they have to decide to bring in a doctor who will provide employees with real facts about COVID-2019 and help them to differentiate between real news and myths around the disease. The doctor will help to remove any misconceptions around the virus and so employees would feel less paranoid as they are equipped with what they needed to do to keep themselves safe.
   
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If remote work isn’t an option, employers can improve morale by making training fun. Employers can get some alcohol-based disinfectant liquid and have a hand-washing contest to see who does the best job. This is also a great way to provide training around sanitation practices.
  
  
While employers can’t completely do away with employee fears, they can try to mitigate them as best as possible. This can be done by adding more hand sanitizers, disinfectants and wipes, reducing or eliminating penalties against sick leaves and call off’s, increasing flexibility, supplying face masks and hosting awareness sessions to educate and reduce anxiety.

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