Supporting employees who are also carers during the second lockdownNovember 12, 2020
Working from home is here to stay, but how to make sure your employees feel connected and motivated during this time? As an employer, it’s important to understand the needs of your employees, some may be caring for an older relative, others may have young children and may be struggling with the work/life balance when working from home. Second lockdown will be particularly difficult for those who have increased caring responsibilities, but there’s lots you can do to accommodate their needs, helping them stay motivated and connected to your company.
We’ve put together some ideas to help make sure you can be there for your working carers during a second lockdown.
1) Work the job around them
Whether it’s introducing flexible hours, allowing employees to work from home or re-distributing workloads, it’s important to make sure your working carers are supported in the second lockdown. Enabling employees to move work around when they need to means you’ll maintain their trust and loyalty, and they’re able to work when they’re focused and present. This period has left many unwilling or feeling unable to take leave, but they can still make the most of their days off. Promote the benefits of them taking some leave, they may not be able to go away, but they can still take some time for themselves, be able to better balance their caring responsibilities and avoid burning out.
2) Communication is key
For employees who are carers, they may have extra caring responsibilities during the second lockdown. Be mindful of this and keep them in the loop, checking in on them with regular chats at a time that suits them. A good relationship comes from getting to know someone better. You’ll not only be helping with some of their potential work-related anxieties, but you’ll also be able to listen and hear what’s working for them and what you can improve on. To improve communication and connection as a team, you could do company wide virtual coffee mornings, discussing different topics and giving updates.
3) Advice and support
The pandemic has meant that nurseries, schools and care homes have had to close or are running at limited capacity. Help those who are caring for a loved one by signposting them to your benefits or support system. Don’t have one in place already? We offer personalised care plans for your employees so they can make the best decisions for their loved ones.
4) Positive reinforcement
With extra caring responsibilities, priorities change. Your employees may be feeling frustrated, anxious or inadequate that they’re not able to deliver as well as they were pre-lockdown. It’s important they know that they’re still doing a good job. Help boost their confidence by commending them for the good work they do. Setting short-term achievable tasks can also be a great way to keep them motivated and confident in their abilities.
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