Engaging Employees During the Coronavirus Pandemic
COVID-19 is top of mind for employers and employees across the globe. In this time of uncertainty and disruption, we hope these resources empower you to keep your employees safe, healthy, and engaged.
Back to top
A Note from Quantum Workplace's CEO
The world is different today than it was a few weeks ago. COVID-19 is sweeping across our world and nation. Uncertainty is at an all-time high, as we experience a complete disruption in our homes and workplaces. There’s no quick fix. There’s no silver bullet. The best thing we as leaders can do is lean in. Be proactive with your employee listening, empathize with their greatest concerns, communicate frequently and confidently, and be flexible and supportive to meet employees’ needs.
Our mission at Quantum Workplace is to make work better every day -- but sometimes there are circumstances that make that challenging. Know that we’re here for you. We’re rooting for you and your success.
I hope that this hub of information informs, inspires, and empowers you to effectively navigate this time of uncertainty.
Since the first U.S. case of the coronavirus was identified in Washington state on Jan. 21, health officials have identified more than 80,000 cases across the United States and more than 1,000 deaths. By March 17, the virus had expanded its presence from several isolated clusters in Washington, New York and California to all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposure to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.
WHO and public health authorities around the world are taking action to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. However, long term success cannot be taken for granted. All sections of our society – including businesses and employers – must play a role if we are to stop the spread of this disease.
Arecent studyshows that 46% of organizations are implementing remote work policies due to the coronavirus outbreak. On top of that, employees are experiencing intense stress. Here's how we can help.
Managing Change During a Crisis
How Leaders Can Drive Change During the COVID-19 Crisis
During times of crisis, organizational leaders should establish feelings of trust with employees by communicating accurate and clear information continuously. Organizational change can be a daunting challenge for people leaders who are also experiencing personal change.
This guide will help you establish trust with your workforce and maintain business growth, including:
Mastering communication to create clarity and trust
Giving all employees a voice
Employee listening tools to manage COVID-19 change
Managing Employee Emotions During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Creating an Emotional Safe Place at Work
Our research shows a clear connection between your emotional culture and employee engagement, and the implications of those findings are serious. Now, more than ever, you need to find ways to keep your employees engaged and your business afloat.
In this resource, we'll provide tips on:
Understanding and assessing your emotional culture
Decreasing employee stress and anxiety
Creating an emotionally safe space at work
Coaching your people leaders to deal with turbulent employee emotions
Elevating Employee Listening During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Best Practices and Templates for Meaningful Pulse Surveys
As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, we know one of your top priorities is to ensure that your workforce continues to feel supported and safe. One of the best ways to do this is by listening. You have a lot on your plate right now, so it’s important you feel well-equipped to gather feedback and uncover employee concerns during uncertain times like this.
This guide contains:
5 reasons to collect employee feedback during a crisis
A step-by-step guide to launching a pulse survey
Two pulse survey templates for you to implement today
Keeping Your (Unexpectedly) Dispersed Workforce Engaged
Remote work is becoming a new normal for organizations across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic. In order to maintain workplace culture while making this shift, organizations must find new ways of engaging their employees.
This quick guide will help you set the stage for remote work and gives you best practice tips to help:
Executive leaders inspire an inclusive remote culture that engages all employees
Managers recognize the challenges that come with managing remote employees
Employees shift to more consistent working environments and stay motivated during this transition
Leadership Strategies That Build Trust During Times of Uncertainty
22 strategies to help leaders navigate the COVID-19 Crisis
Employee trust is leadership’s greatest asset—especially during times of uncertainty, crisis, and panic. Share this resource with your leadership team and people managers for the crucial do’s (and don’ts) of fostering employee trust during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this guide, we'll cover:
22 leadership strategies that build employee trust
How to Navigate Conversations During the COVID-19 Pandemic
As the COVID-19 crisis evolves, we know one of your top priorities is to ensure that your workforce continues to feel supported and safe. One of the best ways to do this is through one-on-one conversations.
In this HR and manager guide, you'll find:
5 reasons to conduct one-on-ones during a crisis
3 myths about having conversations during difficult times
Manager tips for critical conversations
3 one-on-one templates for honest conversations during the COVID-19 pandemic
Download our pulse survey templates, perfect for any survey software or DIY solution.
Pulse Survey Templates for Real-Time Employee Listening
We’ve created two lightweight employee pulse surveys to help you collect invaluable employee feedback on remote work readiness and crisis management.
You can leverage these survey items whether you use Quantum Workplace, another survey software provider, or free DIY solutions.
Remote Work Readiness
What Other Companies Are Doing
Here’s how other organizations are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.
McKinsey & Company launched a free resource that lists in detail the specific business implications of COVID-19 moving forward. Read more >>>
Temporarily closed its stores, offices, and other operations and encouraged employees who can work from home to do so. All Patagonia employees will receive their regular pay during the closure. Read more >>>
LVMH converted three of its perfume manufacturing facilities where it normally makes fragrances for its Christian Dior, Givenchy and Guerlain brands to make hand sanitizer instead. Read more >>>
During this time of uncertainty and required in-home learning, Cox is helping get families in need connect to the internet through its Connect2Compete program. Read more >>>
Tableau launched a free resource page that includes relevant data visualizations about the spread of COVID-19 and the public health response. Tableau added curated data sources and a quick start dashboard to explore the data. Read more >>>
AT&T implemented a work from home policy for those employees who are able to. They’ve also instituted paid leave policies for parents who are exposed to or have contracted the virus. Read more >>>
NBA players and owners are stepping up to help arena workers who have been impacted by COVID-19 and the league shut down. Teams and owners are helping by paying hourly and part-time employees to recover lost wages. Read more >>>
Crowdstrike developed two new programs to address cybersecurity challenges with customers who have employees working from home. Crowdstrike is providing increased cybersecurity for employee and corporate-owned devices. Read more >>>
Here are a few more tips from our team of experts for navigating this crisis.
Frequently Asked Questions
We don’t claim to have all the answers. But here’s the advice we’ve given to companies just like you.
How can I set my employees up for success to work remotely?
We recommend following these steps:
Be clear with employees about remote work expectations.
Equip employees with the resources they need to be successful.
Be flexible and trust employees to get their work done.
Encourageteams to stay connected.
Remindemployees to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Included in this microsite is a pulse survey template you can utilize to ensure that employees feel like they have what they need to effectively work remotely.
Should we delay our engagement survey if we are planning to launch soon?
Every organization’s circumstance is going to be a little different. While some organizations are already accustomed to working remotely and have the bandwidth to still launch a survey, others might take a little time to transition. If it’s still feasible for you to launch the survey, we encourage you to do so. Employees want a sense of normalcy at this time, and launching the survey will help give employees a critical voice. If you choose to delay, we recommend finding another way to request feedback from your employees, like a pulse survey.
If I'm delaying our survey, what should I do next?
Communicate a timeline. If you’ve already communicated about the upcoming survey (or this is the timeframe in which employees usually expect to receive it), share your new plans with your employees, explaining your rationale and expected timing of the survey launch.
Respond and reassure. Explain that employee feedback is still very critical during this time and let employees know you still value their concerns, ideas, opinions, etc.
Gather employee feedback. Provide an open communication channel to utilize for employee updates and feedback.
Launch a pulse survey. Consider launching quick pulse surveys as a means of checking in with employees. This critical feedback can inform your efforts.
Shift engagement efforts. Utilize other listening and feedback channels.
>> For organizations where current events have increased the workload or created more urgency (e.g. healthcare, police force, etc.), or for critical roles within organizations, conduct 15-minute check-ins at least twice per day or shift (virtual if possible). After time evolves (1-2 weeks), you may be able to reduce the frequency of daily check-ins.
>> Information and communication to and from employees is crucial. Teams shouldn’t worry about finding the perfect time for everyone to meet. Sometimes they just need to have a quick meeting, record it, or follow up with those who couldn’t attend to ensure everyone is aligned.
>> Let employees know where you’ll post critical updates, and aim to leverage familiar communication channels if possible. Consider posting non-sensitive or public updates on public platforms (e.g., LinkedIn or social media). This approach can help loved ones/family members stay in the loop for companies they are associated with.
We want to collect employee feedback. What can we do now?
Consider launching quick pulse surveys, or ask employees questions during one-one-ones to get a sense of perceptions and to highlight potential challenges or opportunities.
In uncertain times, what tips do you have for leaders who feel disconnected from their teams?
Be honest, open, and candid with your team. There is a good chance the majority of your leaders, managers, and employees have not had to deal with a pandemic such as this. Reiterate that you are taking everything one day at a time. Managers and employees need to be understanding of each other, share more than ever, and rely on all forms of communication.
Rely on your peers. Don’t try to manage alone. Seek out other managers or leaders in your company for advice and questions as needed. They are your support system during this time.
The executive team isn’t taking this crisis seriously, what should I do?
Direct a committee to oversee crisis-related activities. Communication is critical to the success of an organization during this time. Try to coach and help the CEO through the crisis.
12 Tips for Engaging Employees During Times of Uncertainty
The best way to ease anxiety is to provide clear, confident, and consistent communication. Here are a few tips to consider:
The last thing you want to do is feed into the panic. Position your organization as a safe place and a trusted resource for employees.
Don’t get caught up in the media frenzy. Pay attention to the latest updates from the most credible sources, such as the CDC or WHO.
Anticipate needs and questions that might come up and make a plan. Communicate that plan clearly and consistently.
Equip your people leaders.
Make sure managers are equipped to communicate and respond to questions and concerns.
Understand and empathize.
Acknowledge that employees might feel anxious. Be there to listen and make sure they have access to the information and resources they need.
Don't try to manage it alone.
It’s ok to ask for help. Lean on your peers for support, advice, and questions. In this ever-evolving state of uncertainty, it’s a daunting task for anyone to keep up. This will help you stay focused on your employees.
Find other ways to connect.
If your entire team is working remotely, find fun ways to connect. Set a daily time to share things like how you’re maintaining physical fitness at home, what you’re binge-watching, or enjoy a virtual lunch together.
Try to maintain normalcy.
This is a chaotic time for everyone – leaders, managers, and employees. Try to keep things as normal as possible to provide some stability, like keeping recurring meetings and encouraging employees to maintain their regular routine.
Set clear expectations.
Be clear with employees about work expectations and performance. Many employees are transitioning to working remotely when that may not be the norm. Be honest and open so there aren’t surprises.
A lot of employees are living a new day-to-day, very different from their routine. There are new working arrangements, interrupted childcare, and lots of uncertainty. Trust employees to get their work done. It just might not fall within the standard 8-5 timeframe.
Show your gratitude.
Thank your employees. Acknowledge that they are critical to the company, and assure them that you’re committed to their safety and wellbeing.
Leverage familiar communication channels.
Let employees know where critical updates will be shared and aim to use channels that are already familiar to them. Should updates be shared via email? Or maybe the company’s intranet? How will you communicate to those who don’t have easy access to these options? In some cases, you may need to consider alternate methods like texting. Try to ensure that the communication method doesn’t add unnecessary stress.
We’re all in this together. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.