For about two weeks, we, the non-essential, employment pool have been laid off of work. This was done with no end in sight, no guarantee of returning employees, no guarantee that we, ourselves, will endure through this.
It is important for you, as the captain of this ship, to guide your employees through the treacherous waters and help to keep them from falling overboard.
Here's how to do this:
1) Take some time each day for them. Reach out and see how they're doing. If they are struggling, offer help - virtual coffee -- and some basic guidance. Many of us divide work/personal relationships, some of us do not. For those of us who do. This is an important step for you to take. Your employees need to know that you care about their physical and mental health, their financial well-being and their overall existence. Take some time to listen to them and reassure them that you'll be back and stronger than ever.
2) Provide resources for your employees. It's important for your employees to know that you care about them being out of work and unable to pay their bills. Look around your industry, your local, state and federal government and see what is being offered. Email them links to file for unemployment, news clips about the extra unemployment benefits the feds have offered, industry specific grants for employees and whatever else you can dig up. Encourage them to apply. Help where you can, explain why you can't where you can't.
3) Then just gauge how they're doing overall. Have non-work, non-COVID19 related conversations so they feel connect and comforted by the employer they've come to rely on. Remember, your employees rely on you for the food, water, utilities and place to live. They rely on you to care for their children and their elderly parents. Acknowledge that. Let them know you care and help them access resources to show them you mean it and they matter to you.
This is unprecedented. The way we have to engage is unprecedented. We are in this together. Be kind, be caring, be helpful. Stay safe.