How to Help Employees Cope During Tough Times

How to Help Employees Cope During Tough Times
Facebook Twitter Email LinkedIn

Pandemic Fallout
As we continue to battle the pandemic, it has become clear that beyond the tragic loss of life there are dire emotional and economic consequences. No one, including the experts, can confidently predict just what the final fallout will be nor if our businesses will ever return to “normal.” What we DO know as far employee engagement is concerned is that the pandemic and the stay-at-home orders have taken an enormous toll on the psychological health and wellbeing of our workers. We need to learn how to help employees cope.

The Toll on Employees
We read reports of increased angst among employees. It’s not just the fear of layoffs. Employees are experiencing increased levels of burnout. Workers increasingly complain of greater workloads, ambiguous expectations, and lack of support. As a result, employee engagement is decreasing, and we should all be worried about the people and business implications.

How Leaders Can Help
Savvy leaders have instituted a variety of Zoom check-ins and offered opportunities for wellness activities, but employees tell us that these measures are not enough. What is needed is a way to establish more honest, open connections and more meaningful, effective support.

Here are some steps you can take to better help employees cope during tough times:

  • A Common Problem
    Be open about how the situation is affecting you. Employees need to know they are not alone. They may be physically isolated from others, but their feelings are more common than they realize. There should be no guilt associated with these feelings. No one will emerge unaffected or unscathed. All of us are suffering to one degree or another.
  • Available Resources
    Few employees are fully aware of all the resources the company can provide to help them cope during tough times. Make sure your team members know what benefits exist through their health insurance and how to access them. They should be able to get appropriate counseling, join a support group, or even get help with childcare.
  • Empathy
    Have you really tried to understand your employees’ main concerns? Many workers may be able to manage their personal life in the midst of the pandemic but are anxious about how to contribute meaningfully to the organization. It is up to you as their leader to clarify expectations and roles.
  • Something New
    Many employees could be buoyed by trying something new. Is there a project that appeals to them that can help them to feel energized and valued? What about a new hobby? Since so much time has been saved by not commuting, this can be an opportunity to knock off one of those items on their bucket list like learning Spanish or studying photography.

The Bottom Line
Are you doing all you can to help your employees cope during tough times? Improving employee engagement means following through on employee feedback.  Stay connected so you can offer the support they need and keep them engaged.

To learn more about how every manager can better inspire their team, download the Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

Evaluate your Performance


Get key strategy, culture, and talent tools from industry experts that work


Health Checks

Assess how you stack up against leading organizations in areas matter most



Download published articles from experts to stay ahead of the competition



Review proven research-backed approaches to get aligned



Stay up to do date on the latest best practices that drive higher performance


Client Case Studies

Explore real world results for clients like you striving to create higher performance