Four Engagement Tips for Keeping Your Team Connected During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By Satta Sarmah Hightower 05-05-2020
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The COVID-19 pandemic has likely stirred anxiety around public health and the economy in your employees. In addition, now that many schools and daycares are closed, some of your employees may have to balance work with caring for their children. All this added stress makes it challenging to keep employees engaged at work.
However, there are several ways you can make employees feel valued and emotionally supported during this difficult time. Here are four employee engagement tips that can help your team stay connected and engaged.

Proactively and Openly Communicate with Employees

Employees need more communication in times of crisis, not less. Even if your strategy is still evolving, you can ease some of your employees' fears by sharing how your company plans to move forward. Detail your company's COVID-19 policy and how you will continue to nurture prospects or leads through email, text, and virtual face-to-face consultations. You may also consider providing a short guide on how employees can continue to keep homeowners engaged with current roofing projects.

In many states, construction companies are considered essential businesses, so a company-wide plan for protecting worker safety during the pandemic is crucial. You can combat some of the fear and uncertainty around the pandemic by making sure your employees know what you're doing to protect their health while they're working. This should include abiding by social distancing guidelines and providing masks, hand sanitizer, and other protective equipment to your employees before they go on site.

Adjust Your Attendance and Leave Policies

It's crucial to help team members who work on an hourly and salaried basis feel equally supported. One of the best ways to do this is to create a more flexible attendance and leave policy for hourly workers. Tell employees who have a cough or low-grade fever to stay home, and if necessary, self-quarantine. If they've been exposed to someone with the virus, a quarantine is always wise.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act allocates funding to businesses with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks of paid sick leave and up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Workers who have been employed with your company for at least 30 days and can't work because they are sick or need to care for a family member are eligible for this leave. As a business owner, you can take advantage of this resource to provide financial support to employees and hourly workers.

Foster Virtual Connections

You can keep your team connected by using remote work communication technologies like Zoom, Slack, or Google Hangouts.

Use a video conferencing platform to hold virtual team meetings and create a workplace community. You can hold meetings weekly or bi-weekly and use them to share updates and give employees a chance to raise questions or concerns. If possible, do one-on-one check-ins with employees via phone, email, or video conferencing. Not every employee will feel comfortable communicating in a larger forum, so let your team know there are other outlets available where they can voice their needs.

Create a List of Resources for Employees

With many restaurants, gyms, and other non-essential businesses closed, employees have limited outlets to relieve stress and entertain themselves outside of work. Thankfully, there are several online resources available to help fill this gap.
Encourage staff members to collaborate on a list of as many resources as they can find, like fitness apps with free trials, online therapy and meditation apps, food delivery apps, and credible websites with verified information about government-provided financial support. You could also share information about local daycare centers that are still open for essential workers, use GAF Rewards to purchase gifts or gift cards for employees, and share links to continuing education and professional development courses online.

Sharing resources like these will demonstrate your care for your team's off-the-clock well-being.

Keeping Employees Engaged

These four employee engagement tips can help your team stay connected during this crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to change how they work and support employees, but implementing some of these strategies can help you make employees feel secure and valued despite these changes.

For more tips, tools and updates, see the GAF Contractor Resources for managing through the pandemic.

The information contained in this article was authored by a third party and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to constitute financial, accounting, tax or legal advice. GAF does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, and completeness of the information. In no event shall GAF be held responsible or liable for errors or omissions in the content or for the results, damages or losses caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on the content.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Satta Sarmah Hightower is a freelance writer who covers business, healthcare and technology topics for a wide range of brands and publications. A former journalist, Satta holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School.
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