This is a time of uncertainty for all of us and significant stress for many people. There are millions of people across the country, and even more around the world, who are facing not just worries about illness, but additional concerns around meeting basic needs such as childcare, making their mortgage or rent payment and providing for themselves or their family.
As employers, there are a few things we can do to reassure our people that while it may not be business as usual right now, some important things remain the same. It’s often reassuring to know that in times of great disruption, certain factors remain constant.
While employers cannot address every fear employees face right now, you can provide open and transparent communication to support your workforce. In the short-term, this act of support will make employees feel cared for, even through the most volatile of times. The long-term impact will help employees, your business and our shared world emerge stronger.
1 in 3 employees have left a job because they didn’t feel their employer cared about them as a person and 1 in 5 left a job because their employer didn’t support their well-being, according to a Limeade Employee Care Report.
Using clear and transparent communication, employers have a chance to remind employees what benefits, support services and opportunities remain available for your workforce. Whether employees are reporting in-person due to their essential contributions, working remotely or are dealing with significant life changes, employers can support them by showcasing what opportunities are within their control, such as online education.
While considering growth and development opportunities may not be top of mind for most of your people right now—for good reason—reinforcing your commitment to education for your employees can have a meaningful and positive impact. It can provide reassurance, something to look forward to and increase confidence about the future.
Reinforcing your commitment to learning and growth opportunities can also help employees take a step back from the intensity of the moment and see the bigger picture, including long-term goals and what they can do now to impact those goals. This can also lead to a better business outcome, as employees emerge more educated, engaged and stronger.
By providing online opportunities for employees to continue learning and growing during this period of uncertainty, they will have a measure of confidence in their professional future and reassurance from their employer that they are valued and worthy of investment not just now, but for the long-term.
As a workplace community, keeping the lines of communication open with employees is critical to providing a measure of comfort. Steady and substantive communication is the first step to keeping employees feeling supported by their workplace and meaningfully engaged during this unusual time.
For employees struggling to focus their mind on more positive topics or for those who would like more mental stimulation while staying at home, online learning offers a way to connect with others, both students and professors, around the globe. Connecting with a vibrant online community can provide a great deal of reassurance and comfort that this is a temporary challenge that we will all overcome together.
With online learning, employees have access to an education path forward that is both flexible and engaging. Online courses are naturally built communities utilizing virtual classroom platforms, chat rooms, discussion forums, video calls and more.
When partnering with top-tier academic partners, interested employees can continue or start to pursue their education online without fear of disruption. For example, Arizona State University (ASU), has been a leader in higher education and offers over 200 degree and certificate programs online.
U.S. News & World Report ranked ASU #1 in innovation for 5 consecutive years and a top 10 for best online bachelor’s programs. In addition, ASU offers various top-ranked graduate programs online in subject areas such as business, criminal justice and education.
This time poses unique challenges for all of us, and it’s a transformative moment for businesses everywhere. In order to rise from this period prepared to rapidly regain ground and ultimately thrive, employers must continue to invest in and support their employees, their people, as their number one stakeholder. By doing so, employees will emerge from this period feeling proud of the company they work for, connected to their leaders, and engaged with their work—fully prepared to move the business forward.