What are the challenges facing employees post-Covid-19?

As organisations and managers begin tackling the prospect of restarting their business post Covid-19, employees are facing unique challenges of their own.

With the way we work having changed in a matter of months, individuals have been left to ponder what the new world of work will look like.

The health crisis will have impacted every employee in a different way, causing their experience and response to this change and uncertainty to also be unique. They may be feeling disconnected from the organisation, questioning the business’ purpose and goals, or wondering whether a full return to the office will ever happen.

We’ve identified some of the most common challenges individuals will face, and how they can be overcome.

Employees are expected to perform their roles whilst experiencing a wide range of emotional experiences; with 43% of surveyed workers saying their general mental health worsened during the pandemic. Isolation, loneliness, self-doubt and fear are all emotions that an employee might be feeling at any given time during COVID-19, and so they’ll need their organisations to help normalise these feelings and address their emotional experience.

While it is partly down to the employees to approach their work with a positive attitude, managers and leaders will have the added responsibility of ensuring their colleagues’ feelings are being effectively managed. Whether that’s by making the time for frank and honest conversations with their teams, or offering some flexibility around work/life balance – a manager’s role will be vital in reengaging employees.

Through doing so, business leaders can effectively address any worries or concerns that their teams might have and ensure that every employee feels confident and ready to contribute towards future business success.

The ‘new reality’ will without doubt present the ‘unknown’ for a lot of people, meaning individuals and teams will have many questions that managers and business leaders will need to answer. Providing a line of frequent, open communication will enable leaders to communicate effectively with their employees and engage in meaningful conversations.

“There has to be an ongoing discussion between leaders and employees to encourage buy-in from all staff.” – Nina Pagon, Consultant, Right Management UK

Having these conversations will be crucial to building positive and productive relationships. If everybody understands what is being asked of them, who they can go to for support and how they can support their colleagues, then employees and teams will be able to work more efficiently and effectively. This in turn will generate higher performance levels in individuals and improve the overall effectiveness of the organisation and its day-to-day operations.

Individuals and teams are also being met with challenging performance goals and new expectations. With 22.8% of organisations across surveyed industries reporting a temporary closure or cease of trading due to the pandemic, many organisations need to increase output following sustained periods of operating below optimal capacity – and employees will be expected to contribute towards improving business performance.

In order to do so, individuals and teams will need to be effectively briefed by their managers and leaders on what is expected of them. Communication is key so that everyone is working towards the same goals and importantly, understands why they’re doing so –understanding why the business is looking to move in a certain direction will help ensure employees reconnect with their purpose, the organisation and their managers and colleagues.

By setting employees new targets and goals, managers and leaders can empower their teams to strive for improved performance and success levels and ensure they feel motivated to generate revenue and custom for their organisation.