The key to any healthy relationship—including employment relationships—is good communication. During these times of physical distancing, good communication cannot be stressed enough. The way employers and employees communicate during the pandemic can play a significant part in your business’s success during and after these difficult times.
While physical distancing, ensure your employees have the tools they need to communicate effectively. Consider what your employees may require for your particular industry, such as headsets, webcams, or programs they can use to keep their personal information or telephone hidden from third parties. Additionally, group chat programs can allow for instructions and clarification to be passed along for everyone to see and to communicate efficiently.
Given that many employees may be balancing their work with their current childcare situation, managers may want to offer messaging, emails, or telephone calls rather than Zoom meetings. Employers may also want to consider whether repeated meetings are necessary, particularly webcam meetings, as they may contribute to fatigue.
Ensure all members of each department or team regularly check-ins with each other, to ensure everyone is on the same page and that a plan for the day/week/month is accessible to everyone. This will also help avoid redundant overlaps and misunderstandings regarding tasks.
Encourage Open Communication
Employers should provide secure ways for employees to give feedback, whether it is reaching out to human resources, raising issues with a manager, or even providing an anonymous platform. It is best to have different options to give employees so that they feel safe in providing their feedback or coming to the employer with a complaint. Remind employees that they will not be punished for bringing forward a complaint in good faith or suggestions, and don’t forget to report back with the feedback given, so that employees feel welcome and feel heard.
Have a Plan and Communicate Clearly
Employers should communicate with employees frequently and clearly to reduce uncertainty and the fear that stems from the unknown.
During the pandemic, this includes keeping employees updated on the safety measures the employer is taking, which are in line with occupational health and safety laws, public health recommendations, and any governmental guidelines regarding COVID-19.
With respect to offering reassurance or information regarding job security, employees will appreciate knowing; however, it is best to consult with a legal professional, as certain statements may cause the employer to be unintentionally liable.
When communicating, focus on how your business is doing well, how you have overcome adversity before, and what strategies you will be implementing to ensure that your business survives and thrives as a team.
If you are an employer or an employee and have questions pertaining to health and safety in the workplace, our team of experienced legal professionals at Achkar Law can help. Contact us by phone toll-free at 1 (800) 771-7882 or email us at email@example.com and we would be happy to assist.
If you are a small or medium-sized company looking for full-service support, visit our CLO program page for our strategic solutions.
Disclaimer: This blog is not intended to serve as, or should be construed as legal advice, and is only to provide general information. It is in no way particular to your case and should not be relied on in any way. No portion or use of this blog will establish a lawyer-client relationship with the author or any related party. Should you require legal advice for your particular situation, fill out the contact form, call 1-(800)771-7882, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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