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How is everybody? Looking after staff in the coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 09:00 22 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:52 05 June 2020

Can workers feel engaged and motivated when working from home? There's one good way to find out   Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Can workers feel engaged and motivated when working from home? There's one good way to find out Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Archant

How the free Best Employers Eastern Region survey can help take care of employees during the Covid-19 crisis.

The 2018 cohort of accredited Best Employers. The programme is deferred until 2021 but the Best Employers know-how is available - free - to help businesses get through the Covid crisis   Picture: ArchantThe 2018 cohort of accredited Best Employers. The programme is deferred until 2021 but the Best Employers know-how is available - free - to help businesses get through the Covid crisis Picture: Archant

These are unprecedented times for everyone. No matter what other challenges face our businesses, no matter how working and staffing patterns have had to adapt, a critical part of the employer’s role in the coronavirus crisis is supporting employees. Even in strict self-isolation, they should not be left feeling that they’re going through this alone.

This is all about employee engagement – which is where the Best Employers Eastern Region survey comes in. To help businesses get through this difficult time, it’s free for 2020.

“It’s quite common to spend £2-5,000 on this kind of survey,” explains Lynn Walters of recruitment specialists Pure, who co-founded Best Employers with psychometrics and people-development experts eras.

“Some businesses may say that, with all the change going on, this isn’t the right time to do a survey like this. I’d say there’s never been a more important time to engage with employees,” says Alex Pearce of eras. “If a business wants to know how the Covid-19 crisis is impacting on employees now, they should complete the survey.”

Staff may face fresh challenges when working from home. It's vital to understand how it affects them   Picture: Getty Images/iStockphotoStaff may face fresh challenges when working from home. It's vital to understand how it affects them Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The survey itself is easy to do when working remotely. It’s all online, it takes about 15 minutes and it’s flexible. The core is consistent, so results can be benchmarked, but there’s also an element that can be tailored to the needs of individual businesses to make the results as relevant and actionable as possible.

“Every study shows that companies able to engage employees well will outperform their competitors,” explains Jeanette Wheeler, a partner at leading law firm Birketts, which sponsors Best Employers. “So the businesses that engage well with their staff now will receive the largest dividends later.”

Alex Peace stresses that just asking employees how they’re feeling is a key part of keeping them feeling engaged. “The survey can give pointers on what to do to keep people motivated and engaged,” he says. “It allows the business to look at how people are and develop strategies to look after their wellbeing.”

However, just asking is not enough. When the results are in, any issues raised by the survey need to be addressed – and employees need to know that. People need to know they’ve been heard, so clear communication is essential.

“It’s really important to think about the best way to deliver feedback – especially if people are still working from home,” cautions Lynn Walters.

“Companies can always come back to the Best Employers team for help. There’s no cost to it – it’s all about sharing. More than ever, businesses need to come together to support each other.”

Of course, by the time the results come in, some businesses may be starting to return to a more normal pattern of operation. Lynn Walters suggests the smart thing to do is complete the survey now and then do it again in 2021, when the full Best Employers programme will be resumed, to see how things improve for employees once the pandemic is – hopefully – behind us.

Jeanette Wheeler agrees: “The survey is particularly good for highlighting trends. If it’s done regularly, it can highlight patterns – because business isn’t static, so what was true last year may not be true this year. That’s especially true at the moment.

“The economy will bounce back,” she adds. “How long it will take to get back to pre-Covid-19 levels, nobody can say, but we all need to be ready... When the recovery comes, you don’t want to have lost your best people because you didn’t take the time to look after them now.”

To take part in the free Best Employers Eastern Region survey, click here.

Free advice on coping with the Covid-19 crisis is available on the websites of both Pure (click here) and Birketts (click here)

You may also want to watch:

The Best Employers Eastern Region Partners

Pure

Pure supports the growth of organisations in the Eastern region through the recruitment and development of highly engaged employees, while also helping candidates at each stage of their career.

Pure is the professional recruitment company for the East of England, specialising in Accountancy, Human Resources, Technology, Marketing & Digital and Professional Office roles. We recruit across all levels from short term temporary cover to longer term contracts and permanent recruitment. Pure Executive is dedicated to board level appointments.

From four offices located across the Eastern region, we have a comprehensive understanding of local employment trends as well as within our specialist sectors. For more information, click here.

Eras

Eras ltd are a founder of The Best Employers Initiative and are the authors and owners of the online survey and psychometric platform. We have been at the cutting-edge of psychometric products and consultancy for over three decades. Our user-friendliness, affordability and commitment to our customers has seen organisations of all sizes right across the world benefit from the wealth of our expertise. Companies ranging from large multinationals to independent consultants (many household names among them), see Eras Ltd as their first choice for all their assessment needs. For more information, click here.

Birketts

Birketts is a full service, top 100 UK law firm, based in the East of England, with offices in Cambridge, Chelmsford, Ipswich and Norwich. With a rich heritage spanning over 150 years we’ve built an enviable track record advising businesses, institutions and individuals in the UK and internationally.

We are large enough to provide specialist expertise in most areas of the law at a standard that is frequently compared with major City firms but not at the expense of maintaining a personal and tailored service. We are flexible about everything except our reputation for maintaining the highest professional and ethical standards. If you think that Birketts is the right choice for you, then get in touch, we’d love to hear from you. For more information, click here.

Archant

Archant is a privately-owned media company with market-leading media brands that inspire communities around geographical locations and specialist interests in the UK and internationally. It inspires communities by being the best media brand at informing, educating and entertaining target consumers in each community it serves.

It is the fifth largest regional newspaper publisher, with titles including the Eastern Daily Press and East Anglian Daily Times, and the largest publisher of regional and local lifestyle magazines and specialist magazine titles in the UK.

It also owns a broad portfolio of digital media assets and marketing services in Norwich and a variety of mobile apps. It also recently launched the pop-up national newspaper The New European.

The company, which was founded in 1845, has its roots in Norwich, and services advertisers by building powerful and successful commercial solutions to effectively engage with its communities. For more information, click here.


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