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Here’s how employees are feeling right now – and 4 ways leaders can reach out

Our new normal – but what about employee wellbeing?

Stricter lockdowns are now in full swing in Australian states and so is the realisation that COVID-19 will be part of our lives for a long while yet. Looking out for your employees’ wellbeing and ensuring they have the resources they need to cope is incredibly important, arguably more so now than at the start of the pandemic.

We’ve just analysed data from thousands of employee responses to our In-Touch pulse survey, a real-time tool that measures the impact of COVID-19 on the employee experience. Here’s what people had to say.

In-Touch results – here’s what we found

Managers play a crucial role in a challenging environment

  • Employees feel they are supported well by their immediate manager in the current challenging environment
  • Employees say the person they report to genuinely cares about their wellbeing (84.1% agree) and communicates effectively with them (80.4% agree)
  • In the current COVID-19 environment, our findings show that communication and recognition by managers, are drivers of overall perceived organisational support. This suggests that managers, now more than ever, are having a big impact on the overall perceptions of support provided in organisations

Employee are taking it in their stride, but can it last

  • Employees are being resilient and flexible when faced with change and uncertainty
  • They are happy to change plans or shuffle priorities to suit the changing environment (85.8% agree/strongly agree) and say they bounce back quickly after setbacks (81.7% agree/strongly agree)
  • But only half of respondents feel they have the necessary information to do their jobs well

Feedback and recognition is lacking

  • Leaders and managers could do more to recognise effort and performance, with many employees saying they’re not getting good recognition for their efforts during this time
  • Staff say they are not receiving clear and regular feedback on how well they’re doing (only 59.8% agree/strongly agree)

Collaboration and connectedness is taking a hit

  • Employees feel departments are not collaborating effectively to achieve set goals
  • They also feel they are lacking a sense of togetherness with their peers, with connectedness scoring the lowest of all the factors
  • The factors of teamwork and connectedness are highly correlated – suggesting that an employee’s sense of connectedness and togetherness is driven by their immediate teams and how well they are working together

Tips for leaders from our CEO

Insync CEO Sean Coady offers these suggestions to leaders and managers for helping employees feel connected, supported and cared for:

  1. Communicate with employees regularly and via different methods to keep things interesting. I’ve found what works well is a mix of all-staff email updates, vlogs, monthly all-staff Zoom catch ups and one-on-one chats with staff to help them feel connected to each other and to the organisation’s purpose and goals, and also to be transparent when many things are so uncertain.
  2. Keep priorities to a small but focused and manageable list. If you’ve reduced hours or encouraged leave, people may be feeling overwhelmed and unable to be as productive as they were in a normal work setting working their usual hours. Help them prioritise the most important tasks or projects – the big rocks – to stay on track.
  3. Appreciate that many people are working at home in a flexible and unstructured way, with life’s other demands competing for attention such as children, spouses, pets, the washing, etc. It’s unreasonable to expect a 9 hour day to be worked with little to no interruptions as would be the case in the office, so give your employees your trust and space to get their jobs done in a way that works for them.
  4. Encourage team leaders and line managers to stay in touch regularly with their teams and continue the formal and informal ways to catch up. We may all be isolated but we can come together in many different ways and it’s important to maintain these connections. Virtual coffee catch ups, team WIPs, sharing Netflix favourites, using chat channels such as Teams are just some ways we keep our teams and people connected and in touch.

How In-Touch is helping this state government agency connected to their people

Insync Testimonial
The wellbeing survey is easy to use and navigate. It shows data in real-time which has been helpful, especially with reading and analysing the hundreds of free-text comments, saving us time after the survey has closed. We’ve been running monthly pulse surveys so using our time as efficiently as we can has been important to be able to understand and communicate results, and formulate actions before the next survey commences. The Roadmaps feature has been a helpful starting point in creating actions that can address areas for improvement for our people.

State government agency

Measure what’s most important to employees now

Our team of psychologists developed our In-Touch employee pulse tool to measure and track the factors most impacted by COVID-19 including:

  • Social isolation /connectedness – many people working remotely
  • Wellbeing – employees feeling healthy and happy are also being impacted through different working arrangements or a perceived lack of job security
  • Trust – the level of trust employees feel towards their employers is being impacted currently, particularly if regular honest and open communication is not forthcoming
  • Job satisfaction – employees feeling satisfied with their jobs may be impacted due to various changes at work from the current situation
  • POS (Perceived Organisational Support) – employees may be feeling less supported particularly if working circumstances have changed
  • Teamwork – many teams are now working remotely, so this is important to understand the impact on teams
  • Resilience – being able to manage difficult and unknown situations at work is being impacted upon by the current scenario
  • Role clarity – changes to how people are working can impact on clarity if not managed appropriately through clarity of expectations
  • Supervisor / Manager support – team leaders providing enough of the right kind of support in these different ways of working is crucial to employee wellbeing, productivity and job satisfaction

The survey is real-time and hosted by Insync, so it empowers employees to be honest and candid about how they’re feeling right now.

Learn more about measuring employee wellbeing

Talk to us today about how you can reach out and connect with your people with our In-Touch tool.

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