The United States is in a high state of uncertainty where the future is concerned. We’re a nation that wants our news, meals, and money right now. Once a big event happens, we are all consumed with Twitter, Facebook, and news outlets for a few days or even weeks. And then we move on.
We’re not able to move on from COVID, at least not yet. We’re still wearing masks, social distancing, working from home, dealing with childcare, loneliness, financial, and mental issues. We drag on wondering when this will be over.
I spoke with a group of CEOs recently that are highly concerned with employee fatigue. They’re seeing a rise in employee issues and considerable productivity drop off. Words of encouragement are falling on deaf ears when the actions following are not personal. “Just do your job” or “find a way” is not cutting it.
Each person is wired differently. How they act under fatigue may be quite different than normal circumstances and not easily recognizable.
If you want to combat COVID fatigue, you have to meet your employees where they are. Get personal.
Here are some ideas for you to think about that I’ve heard were effective:
Conduct 30-minute discussions with staff daily. One on one meetings may not be doable but small group calls can be. Ask how are they doing at home, how are the spouse and kids, is there anything impeding their work that you could help with?
Proactively identify those at risk. If you already have a personality assessment on employees, dust them off. If not, consider getting one. Look for things like their Social Energy scores, or Restlessness, or Organizational needs.
Employee Surveys– Do a formal and confidential survey and get a pulse. Results may not be specific, but it can be a good starting point.
Professional Counseling – Many insurance companies offer some form of counseling for mental challenges. Inquire about eligibility through the Employment Assistance Option or consider purchasing an option for the employees. Whatever you do, make sure the employees know it is confidential.
No one is certain when the risk with the pandemic will finally subside. We should expect COVID fatigue to get worse before it gets better.
Get on top of it with your employees now. It is real.
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