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Building a coronavirus/COVID-19 workplace resilience scorecard

It’s been a big few weeks for us as a global community as we come to terms with the impact of coronavirus/COVID-19, and in the hyper connected world we live in now there is little respite. Particularly for Australians who are still recovering from the bushfires that ravaged our country, this year has required all of us to be resilient.

The medical implications of the virus are only part of the conversation. Many organisations are asking right now “how resilient are we to crises such as these”? And the answer to this question may be closer than you think - If you’re using an evidence-based employee engagement survey tool, there will be some indicators in your survey results that you can use to build your own COVID-19 scorecard.

Leadership

People are looking to their leaders right now, and the level of confidence they have in them will govern the behaviour of employees during uncertain times. The confidence and trust in senior leadership will be something organisations heavily rely on now, and something every organisation should be tracking as a core part of the employee experience. All leadership development tools such as 360s and training designed to develop the self-awareness and capability of your leaders will support them to display the empathy, strong communication and personal resilience necessary to weather this period of uncertainty.

Flexible working arrangements

Many of our clients are implementing remote working solutions to minimise social contact and protect the health and wellbeing of their staff, and many more may be required to do so when quarantined. Do you have policies in place that facilitate employees working safely and productively from their home? Are you aware of and managing the potential risks of flexible working?

Ensuring you have set expectations and guidelines for working from home is not only important for the good times but is now critical for the challenging times. For many years now Voice Project has included questions about flexible working in our engagement surveys, and we’ve found these questions to correlate strongly with workplace health and wellbeing. Having clear flexible working policies ironed out when things are calm will allow you to focus on more important things when they are not.

Technology

Do staff have the hardware, software and skills needed to be able to work remotely? Do you have the capacity to communicate with staff quickly and effectively if necessary? Technology systems will be tested at this time, and will be a critical for resilience and continuity of service delivery. The two videoconferencing tools we’ve seen commonly applied are Microsoft Teams (more oriented towards internal communications) and Zoom (more oriented towards external communication with clients and other external stakeholders).

Risk Reporting

How comfortable staff feel to report concerns and risks across the organisation is the foundation of a strong safety culture. In relation to COVID-19, it could be an indicator of how safe staff would feel reporting that they or a colleague are at risk, or suggesting improvements to how they might minimise risks while doing their job. A robust risk strategy is one that includes feedback from all staff at all levels of the organisation, so understanding how comfortable staff are reporting issues is a big part of your resilience scorecard.

Health and Safety

Crises like pandemics can have a large psychological impact on individuals. Anxiety around health, finances, work and family can all peak in times of uncertainty, and it’s important that decisions and communications from leadership keep this front of mind.

Check in to ensure staff know how to get the support they need if they are feeling unsafe or unwell. If your regular engagement survey reveals that this is a potential issue, then it should be a priority to develop awareness and confidence in your systems before they are required.

Long story short, the basics become very important in a crisis. When things are going well you should be collecting data to identify and fill potential gaps in your resilience strategy, and then checking in with staff when things are tough.

Stay healthy and best wishes to all of you as we fight off this new virus and adjust to a world that will never be quite the same again.

From the Voice Project team