Employee support must continue, even with the end of lockdowns

By Emma Hosking | 07 Oct 2021 View comments

The ongoing upheaval of lockdowns has had the greatest impact on an organisation’s ability to be as responsive and effective as possible.

Outside of operations, for many organisations, the biggest impact of ongoing lockdowns has been to their  workplace environment from the need to rapidly shift home-working arrangements and particularly for  franchise businesses, maintaining necessary consistency across the board despite these ongoing changes.   

Businesses must have a clear, transparent process around how to manage and empower their employees. This applies to both recognising employees’ mental and physical boundaries, as well as ensuring the right  support is in place for their adjusted working environments.

We’ve seen this ourselves at Gallagher Bassett. Even prior to the pandemic, a considerable number of our workforce were working remotely; however the increased need for employers to work from home highlighted an opportunity  for us to increase the sophistication and flexibility of our technology systems to streamline this process.

Whatever the extent of flexibility organisations are integrating into the workplace, it’s important to recognise that every employee’s needs will differ – requiring more than a one size fits all approach. Just as the pandemic continues to be ever changing, so too will the needs of employees’ who are managing adjustments in their home environments, mental health and financials, along with likely battling an increase in personal stressors.  

The consideration of these factors are often missing from many organisations’ long-term cultural plans as they look toward the Covid-free future. But with the virus here to stay, it is crucial employers consider the long-term lifestyle impacts Covid-19 has on individuals, particularly when managing a geographically  dispersed workforce. 

Many business owners have put in a great foundation of adapting to the worst of the pandemic but fatigue and frustrations will no doubt continue for some time meaning this increased focus on employee support will soon need to be common practice, not just a recovery program.

Continuing to adjust to these increased considerations of employees means that for organisations to thrive in the new normal, above all, people must now become the bottom line.