Human resource professionals have the great responsibility of maintaining order and peace in the workplace. In these times, when it seems like none of us has job security and major changes could have a drastic effect on our benefits, this responsibility has become even more significant. There is a sense of frustration, hopelessness and— the big one—fear.
In the midst of this uncertainty, we face the challenge of keeping our team productive and focused. Our employees look to us for reassurance and direction.
As employers, we need to take a hard look at our relationships with our team to identify where we can improve and reinforce our commitment to those who work “in the trenches” every day. In my 30 years of experience in the HR world, I have found that by following these six simple steps, we can help maintain a productive and peaceful workplace— even during times of uncertainty.
- LISTEN to employees’ concerns. Give employees an opportunity to be heard; a simple conversation can change their entire perspective.
- RECOGNIZE employees’ hard work. Know their first names, ask about their family, acknowledge their work and let them know you are interested in their lives.
- REWARD employees’ contributions. Even if you cannot afford a monetary award, provide acknowledgement through certificates of appreciation, serve special treats at break time and recognize their birthdays. All of these are very personal yet cost-effective.
- Show RESPECT. By showing respect to your team, you will earn their respect in return. Respect builds trust and challenges employees to have respect for each other. It also enables your team to recognize the value of respect and how it translates into their personal lives.
- Be HONEST. Some may believe honesty can cause turmoil. I believe it builds trust. I like to know what to expect, so I can prepare for what lies ahead. Our employees deserve this opportunity as well.
- Maintain TRUST. This is a word that has lost value. If we cannot be trusted, then nothing we say or do will matter.
By following these steps, we will build unity; unity builds strength; strength builds confidence; confidence builds hope—and hope will carry us through.
Carolyn Buchanan is the owner of Temp Force, a local provider of Temporary, Temp to Hire and Direct Hire Staÿ ng Services. TempForce is a franchise aÿ liate of Randstand USA.