Business: How to Help Employees Through Tough Times


Business: How to Help Employees Through Tough TimesIf you're a small business owner, chances are the pandemic has been especially tough on you and your family. You may have had to change your business model, lay off employees or worse, close up shop indefinitely. But what about your employees? If you're a small business owner looking to support your staff through the pandemic, here's what you need to know.

How the pandemic has affected small businesses...

According to a new Economic Impact Report from Yelp, over 150,000 businesses have closed during the pandemic, and over half of those businesses don't plan to reopen, ever. So if your business is still up and running or will be again at some point, count yourself among the lucky. Even businesses that are doing well during this time are still having to hustle and adapt to COVID restrictions and changing customer demands. The bottom line: no business or industry has come away unscathed.

What employees are going through...

If you have employees, whether they're part-time, full time, or somewhere in between, it's likely that they're grateful to have a job. But that doesn't mean that everything is smooth sailing; in fact, they may be struggling more than you think. Many workers are reporting higher levels of depression, anxiety, and burnout, and are feeling less able to meet their mental, emotional, and material needs.

How employers can help...

The first step to being a more supportive employer is pretty simple: ask your employees how they're doing. Just asking the question will make your staff feel valued and take some of the pressure off. The next step, obviously, is doing what you can to help. Perhaps there are ways your business can provide across the board support, like offering counseling services or building more flexibility into employees' schedules. If you or your business doesn't have a lot of extra resources to spare right now, that's OK too. Simple gestures like reaching out to check in and let people know you care or sending an email offering encouragement and support can be especially meaningful.

What to do when you have to make tough decisions...

As a business owner, it can be excruciating to have to lay people off or let them know that you can't afford to pay them. Having compassion for yourself is critical when you have to make these tough decisions. Decisions you obviously would avoid making if you could. If you do need to let someone go, it's important to be kind but clear. Do what you can to provide a recommendation or help someone find a new position elsewhere. And if it's the truth, let your employee know that the door will be open if one day your business is restored to better health.

For any business insurance questions, call or contact Executive Insurance & Financial Services today.

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