Six Strategies for Staying Close with Your Employees in Times of Crisis
April 19, 20204 min read
Everyone remembers how people made them feel during the hardest times in their lives. 10, 20, and even 30 years from now, people will remember COVID-19 and how their companies made them feel during this unprecedented time in history.
For us at Sprinklr, one of our cultural aspirations is “We treat employees like family.” This has been our guiding principle in making difficult decisions – to protect our business and our people as we would for our family members.
Here are six things companies can be doing now to stay close with your employees:
- 1. Educate, inspire, and empower people to manage change
- 2. Stay close… Implement daily 15-min “Heartbeat” calls
- 3. Be open, transparent… and confidential
- 4. Stand ready to help those affected by the crisis
- 5. Double down on your employees’ learning and development
- 6. Be intentional about your employees’ wellness
1. Educate, inspire, and empower people to manage change
Everyone is dealing with change and transition. We’re all learning to let go and to embrace a new reality over time. And no matter where you may be on the change curve, it is OK. When you understand where you are, you can help lead others through the transition, too.
Note: This model is based on the Kubler-Ross Change Curve.
Now, more than ever, we all need to step up and become a source of inspiration for our teams. Host consistent conversations with your teams to get their input for key decisions and empower them in whatever way you can to help them move along the change spectrum.
2. Stay close… Implement daily 15-min “Heartbeat” calls
When things are hard, it’s so important to stay close to your people. It can take up to 3x as many virtual meetings to build the same trust you can from one in-person meeting. At Sprinklr, we’ve asked all leaders to hold daily 15-min “Heartbeat” calls to stay close and connected with their teams.
This is a great opportunity to check in with everyone on the team – not just about work but also about how everyone is doing personally. And, our leaders are having fun with it too! The calls can be themed – like your favorite hat, or showing off your workspace (Sprinklr Cribs!), or even feature your pets and kids on the call.
It’s important to stay one step ahead of the crisis by staying up-to-date and communicating with employees quickly and efficiently. Send consistent emails and host town hall meetings updating employees regarding travel, office closures, and confirmed employee cases while maintaining confidentiality.
4. Stand ready to help those affected by the crisis
Set up an infrastructure where you can stay close to your employees’ health while ensuring anonymity. And, when there are employees self-reporting cases, treat them like family. Our CEO Ragy Thomas and I are personally reaching out to every employee affected to stay close and to determine how we can be helpful during the crisis.
5. Double down on your employees’ learning and development
One of our core beliefs at Sprinklr is “Everyone has the potential to keep amazing. Keep learning.” Now may be the perfect time to focus on something positive in the midst of the hard – like learning a new skill!
At Sprinklr, employees are using internal resources like LinkedIn Learning, Audible for Business, and also learning from the outside world (TedTalk, YouTube, and more!) Here’s a snapshot of resources available for everyone that you can try:
6. Be intentional about your employees’ wellness
To thrive at work, employees need to thrive personally. Remote work can be hard for many people – it’s important to provide a forum for employees to share resources, and give employees permission to work out and meditate during the work day. This will keep employees motivated, fresh, and focused on the positive things they can control.
At Sprinklr, I love seeing so many people participating in the meditation and fitness sessions and using the global Headspace app. Whether you’re part of the Sprinklr family (or will be one day 😊), this is the time to take care of ourselves so we can be there for all the people who need us more than ever!
For more tips on how to focus on employee wellness, check out our webinar with Headspace and our Director of Benefits, Cassandra Rose.
At the core of all this, one thing is key. People need to know that they are cared about and valued – that they can still make a difference. It’s on all of us to step up and lead from the heart.