Employee Productivity: How HR Can Help
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7  Tips To Keep Up Employee Productivity During COVID-19

Employees are the face of an organization. Even a small change in the working process breaks the work velocity, and it could be either an internal or external change. While granular changes are easy to fathom and move on, a situation, like COVID-19, which is evolving every day, needs a lot of planning and adjustment to newer ways of working.

Organizations need to lay particular emphasis on restoring employees' emotions related to the coronavirus pandemic and find ways to maintain productivity and employee engagement at all levels. An influential work culture, support from the managers, and a remote working environment are some of the pre-requisites for successful functioning.

Like most companies, managers must help employees stay connected and engaged. And most importantly, not to make employees feel isolated despite working solo. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has taken a significant toll on employees' personal, social, and professional lives. Extreme health fears and job uncertainty have led to anxiety, frustration, and low morale. If HR and managers don't buckle down concerns with pacifying solutions, these feelings can break employees' motivation to work, which will lead to low productivity, poor quality of work, errors in assignments, and ultimately impact an organization’s ability to function effectively during difficult times.

HR should help maintain employee deliverables by assisting team managers with innovative ideas to ensure employees get the necessary support during desperate times.

1. Build A Two-Way Communication Process

To ensure employees are heard and not hurt, managers must have a two-way communication process with employees. The two-way communication process acts as a complete communication process. When employees are allowed to speak about their resentment, managers and peers will have a better understanding of an employee’s negative emotions from an employee's perspective. They can work out something that works best for the employee. HR should assist managers in creating a two-way communication channel between employees and managers about the positive and negative consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.

2. Proactive Employee Support

When your physical office is set-up into 50 virtual offices, managers need to maintain a secure connection with their people. Managers should not leave any employee unheard. Either through conversations or observations, managers should understand signs of agony. HR should facilitate conversations between employees and managers on any topic arising due to COVID-19, including job satisfaction, low work productivity, work from home, or anything that’s bothering in regard to the pandemic. The discussion or support could be in the form of virtual face-to-face meetings on Skype, or guidance through email or training with the latest updates on the situation and how to deal with it.

3. Prioritize Your Employees

Employees come first. No matter the situation, if employees are not happy, their disagreement will be seen in customer service and other work-related activities. The manager should know what motivates employees and what changes do they want to make. Managers should always improve the employee experience by focusing on what people want. HR should open channels of communication between managers and employees and create a safe environment for open feedback and the transfer of ideas—either through online EX platforms, virtual meets, or Google talks.

4. Recognize Employee Efforts

Through this pandemic, some employees work double to keep up with business standards. As COVID-19 has led to disruption in work and cut down on employee engagement, managers need to magnify the recognition efforts. Effective recognition not only motivates the employees but also sends a strong message to other employees in the organization who can emulate the same behavior. Recognition may not necessarily be monetary but can be in the form of public acknowledgment, a token of appreciation, display name in the hall of fame board, low-costs perks, shout-outs, or a simple thank-you message. Managers should also provide development opportunities to everyone for better capacity and long-term success of the employee.

5. Strengthen Organizational Value

Work well-being plays an essential role in maintaining workplace safety. A robust organizational message lets employees know what a company expects of them during such a crisis. When employee misconduct occurs, it shows that employees have some severe issues with their attitude and behavior. Such wrongdoings destroy the relationship between the manager and employees. Employee misconduct increases during uncertainties and managers have to be extra careful in laying the groundwork for ethical behavior and encourage everyone to eliminate unethical behavior; use an appropriate channel to report misconduct and highlight significant repercussions for noncooperation.

6. Turn To Innovation And Creativity

During such uncertain times, managers and employees are more prone to risk-taking and uncertainties. It is during this time that employees become more creative and come up with innovative solutions to tackle critical issues. Employees turn to various techniques needed for the organization’s betterment and success. There may be budget constraints or financial crunches, but managers should push for great ideas to management and get it approved.

7. Become Virtually Social

Human beings are social creatures and to meet and greet with colleagues becomes a prevalent task. With our daily dose of work, managers need to find ways to connect their team members. It could be either Skype,  Google meetings, or conference calls where all members of the team participate. Having everyone together in one forum bridges the team gap and provides seamless communication. HR, with the help of the IT team, should set up such initiatives so that employees and managers remain connected.

There is no precise date for the coronavirus pandemic to end, but what remains is the relationship between managers and employees that goes a long way in the successful functioning of an organization to maintain employee engagement and productivity.

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