5 RECOMMENDATIONS TO MAINTAIN AND STRENGTHEN EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCE DURING A GLOBAL CRISIS

Employee Experience crisis

Today, many companies are using the “shock therapy” that affects us all to return to “survival” mode, with a drastic and unpredictable effect on employees. On the one hand, this is completely understandable and reasonable, on the other hand, it is only a short term achievement of the current decrease in demand and cost pressure. Even if the state provides financial support, the psychological side effect on employee satisfaction should not be underestimated, despite the excellent communication and humanity shown.

Now more than ever, all companies should think about how to maintain employee experience, despite financial and market constraints. Because people do not forget, negative experiences, and those will remain in mind and psyche for a long time.

 


We share with you 5 recommendations on how a company can continue to act in an employee-oriented manner, without a budget, without a project plan, and without losing talent after the global crisis is over.

Here we go!

Recommendation 1: All means all

All employees are important to the business.  It is not a question of “sorting out” who is needed at this time and who is not, because we would enter an unneeded discussion: who is more important than the other, who makes what contribution, etc. ALL means ALL. Sellers cannot sell if Marketing does not develop products and/or services. Teams cannot grow if HR does not hire employees. IT departments cannot provide technical support if no one asks for it, and customers cannot communicate with anyone if there is no team in the Call Center.

We are ALL present on our customers’ customer journey, some in direct contact and many others in the administrative office. And we are ALL relevant to the competitiveness of the company, now and in the future.

For example, instead of letting some employees continue to work 100% (or more) and others be almost inactive, tasks can be redistributed so that the workload is reasonably equal for everyone. Some supermarket chains show us how: employees from the headquarters help colleagues in the supermarkets, taking turns with them to share the workload of these weeks.

Recommendation 2: Strong, authentic and objective communication

Management communication must now come from a single source and be authentic, objective and at the same time, promising. All employees already know what is happening; it is either in the newspapers or it is going viral in the social networks. Internal communication cannot be one-to-one.

As the head of a company or the Communication or HR team, this means asking: What perspective can I give on the future once we have overcome the crisis? How can I give indications of deadlines in times of uncertainty? This requires courage, but also a clear commitment to our own vulnerability as human beings.  Here we need inspiration from the author of The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry:

“If you want to build a boat, don’t start by looking for wood, cutting boards or distributing the work. It evokes first in men and women the longing for the free and wide sea”.

With this attitude, it’s easier to get through the bad times and stay motivated.

Recommendation 3: Intelligent and Measured Transparency

In recent years, there has been a trend towards the concept of 100% transparency in leadership, decision-making, management and communication. In times of crisis management, this is only partially recommended. The reason is that not all employees are “mature” for 100% transparency. Although this has been said for a long time, in many cases it generates stress, fear, uncertainty and even despair when this transparency means reporting that the company may go bankrupt. These feelings can quickly lead to psychosomatic problems and serious illness. The right dose of transparency and focus on relevant information is an act of balance between rational, fact-based presentation and empathetic closeness to the individual reality of each employee. This is not an easy task, but just trying to find the rational and emotional balance is already a positive experience for employees.

Recommendation 4: It is time to innovate, improve and learn from all that is good

Now more than ever, employees can participate in activities that promote innovation, training, peer education, strengthening the daily activity of the company. With powerful questions like “what do we do well?”, “how are our processes?”, “what can we improve?”, “what products/services should we offer in the future and how can we develop them?”, “who is doing what particularly well and could be a better internal practice?”, etc.

Every employee can participate and give his or her opinion. There is always enough work, and any solid company must have a certain “cushion” in order to save downtime. And the subject of training is, of course, obvious and essential – the current online offer has never been so varied, interesting and accessible as it is now!

Recommendation 5: Promoting the WE instead of the ME

Last but not least: Promote the WE culture rather than the individual I culture directly related to performance. Anyone who only sees their own performance as an employee and therefore puts themselves in the forefront and questions the performance and contribution of others, should not really be part of the company…

As difficult as it may seem now: in a crisis you always see who is really behind the company and who only pretended to be, reacting only in their own interest. Today we need to look far beyond factors such as productivity and performance. We must seek out and value skills such as teamwork, closeness to colleagues, solidarity, support and flexibility. All internal company decisions are made through informal channels, and if they are understandable from the employees’ perspective, they support and encourage a positive and differential employee experience.

We hope that these 5 recommendations will be useful to you and that they will give you strength and encouragement to continue as usual! We remain at your side.

A warm virtual hug!

This post is also available in: Spanish