Ensuring Employees’ Fears & Anxieties Are Addressed During Crisis

As we continue to deal with COVID-19, terms such as self-quarantine, safer at home, and social distancing are becoming common. While we stand at least six feet away from others, work remotely, and avoid face-to-face visits with loved ones, abnormal situations are becoming more normal. Because we don’t know how long this will go on, many employees are facing increased levels of stress and uncertainty. As a team leader, it’s your job to help them navigate through these unprecedented times.

Find out how you can help address your team members’ anxieties about COVID-19 through employee assistance programs.

Defining Employee Assistance Program

An employee assistance program (EAP) is a group of services created to improve and maintain productivity and healthy employee functioning by applying specialized knowledge and expertise about human behavior and mental health. Deploying an EAP begins with confidential, brief therapy or referrals for specific issues that are affecting job performance. Managers often are consulted to help troubled staff by enhancing the work environment, however possible. When services conclude, the impact on the team member is evaluated. Results are used to improve future assistance.

Relieving Employees’ Burdens

Putting EAPs to work means reducing the burdens employees may be facing. In the wake of COVID-19, many staff members are worried about financial security, childcare, providing basic necessities for their family, and what the future may hold. When team members are stressed about family issues, they’re typically unable to work to their full potential. By providing the tools and resources needed to reduce staff members’ anxiety about uncontrollable circumstances, they are better equipped to cope with their issues. Knowing they can count on employer-provided benefits to help navigate through difficulty helps employees return to typical performance levels.

Emphasizing EAP Benefits for Staff

Remind employees of the services your EAPs offer. During COVID-19, common mental health concerns impacting families include depression and anxiety, fear and isolation, health impairment, stress, and substance abuse. Other concerns may include sleeplessness, grief, child or elder care, virtual schooling, housing, or work challenges. Your EAP might provide mental health and substance abuse counselors, financial advisors, attorneys, family and child counselors, or other assistance. Educational and informational resources, including referrals to community services, may be available as well.

Use EAPs to Address Employees’ Anxieties

As we continue to deal with COVID-19, use the services provided by your EAP to increase staff members’ overall wellbeing. Find out what their biggest fears are, and which professionals can guide them through to a more productive way of thinking. Offer services in line with improving employees’ physical and mental health to continue productivity levels and business operations. Focus on coming out stronger when things have settled down.

If you need temporary accounting and finance professionals to cover for team members’ absences, reach out to Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Our candidates have the necessary skills and training to quickly get up to speed and producing. Get started with us today.


COVID-19 – How to Lead Your Workplace Right Now

There is no playbook on how to respond to COVID-19. Social distancing, self-quarantines, and stockpiling supplies have become common responses. With many employees working from home, conferences have been postponed, canceled, or happening virtually. Due to the rapidly evolving concerns about the virus, leaders like you need to find a balance between being extremely cautious and conducting necessary business operations.

Here are some suggestions to help you navigate your team through COVID-19.

Deploy Your Crisis Management Committees

Put your crisis management teams into action. They need to provide information about COVID-19 awareness, prevention, management, and hygiene practices to leaders, managers, and front-line employees. The teams also must enact management protocols, and business continuity plans to lead current actions and potential responses to future events. These activities may include reducing to business-critical operations only, cross-training team members to fulfill critical responsibilities in case another teammate is quarantined, and restricting business travel. If an employee or family member is diagnosed with COVID-19, ensure they follow protocol. This may involve reporting confirmed cases to HR or management, disinfecting anything they may have touched, and informing coworkers, customers, and clients they may have had contact with.

Monitor Employees’ Wellbeing

Stay informed on team members’ overall wellbeing. Since most should be working from home, ask for regular updates on their physical and mental health. Remind staff members of the employee assistance programs available to them, including mental health services available for stress management. Provide information on employees’ compensation and benefits, such as employer-sponsored health insurance. Allow paid time off for team members who become symptomatic or need to care for a family member. Encourage the use of short-term disability insurance, time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act, childcare subsidies, or other existing benefits.

Frequently Communicate

Communicate with staff daily, weekly, or when new information becomes available. Everyone must remain updated on your company’s response to COVID-19 advice, policies, and protocols. Be sure to tailor email, text messages, hotlines, and internal systems communications to the recipients, such as leaders, managers, and employees. You may include FAQs or links to authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The World Health Organization, or local governments. Remind everyone to obtain information from credible sources, stay calm, and not spread misinformation. Emphasize the importance of obtaining adequate food, water, medicine, and other essentials in case of quarantine.

Lead Your Workplace Through COVID-19

As a leader during COVID-19, your example to employees is more important now than ever. Overcommunicating with team members keeps everyone informed about changes within the company and professional organizations providing updates on the virus. Showing ongoing concern for staff members’ overall wellbeing reminds them you care about them. Demonstrating calm behavior encourages others to follow your lead while moving forward through uncertain times.

If you need temporary accounting and finance professionals to fill in for absent employees, contact Casey Accounting & Finance Resources. Our experienced candidates can jump right in and get started working remotely for you. Find out more today.

Now is the Time to Develop Your Recruiting Strategy During High Unemployment

In March, our work world was hit by a tornado called COVID-19. In the blink of an eye, we went from the challenge of recruiting during a 3% unemployment rate to furloughing employees, establishing work-from-home policies, embracing more technology for virtual meetings and other activities, and leading our teams with calm during a crisis.

As we talk with clients and other hiring managers, it’s clear you have your hands full adjusting and adhering to the new company and government policies and scrambling to create work environments that will minimize or prevent the spread of the virus.

As some states begin to loosen Stay Home policies and your company begins to bring employees back into the office, the last thing you might be thinking about is needing a strategy for recruiting during high unemployment. After all, won’t there be plenty of candidates to choose from?

True, but not necessarily a good thing. Let’s look at a few of business consultant Bridget Miller’s thoughts in a recent HR Daily Advisor article about recruiting during high unemployment:

  • Individual vacancies may have a higher number of applicants than usual, which may mean it will take more time to qualify applicants.
  • There may be more unqualified applicants than usual, as more people are looking for quick work to replace lost jobs. This may also mean that recruiting costs are unexpectedly higher than anticipated due to the extra work involved.
  • As time progresses, more and more applicants may have extended periods of unemployment. This does not necessarily mean they’re not great candidates for the job.
  • Skills gaps may persist, even with higher unemployment levels. This can be a frustration for employers that wish more applicants automatically meant more skills to choose from—but it may not.

Rethinking Your Recruiting Strategy

What is different this time is that COVID-19 isn’t going away which means this is unchartered territory. There are more obstacles to overcome beyond just recruiting to fill positions.

Our team has decades of recruiting experience under our belts and we have seen these cycles before. Each time we guide our clients in developing dynamic strategies and processes to bring on new talent quickly. We are positioned to overcome this latest obstacle. Let us help you implement a clever recruiting plan that sails across this new recruiting environment.

If you would like to connect and discuss further, please get in touch with our recruiters. We are happy to share our successes and strategies and welcome the chance to work with you.