In times of crisis, it can be hard for your employees to manage the workload and simultaneously manage their own responses to the crisis. Global crises often mean increased work for insurers, and with COVID-19, this has certainly been the case. How can you help your employees manage successfully at work during times of crisis?
Acknowledge Extraordinary Times
Changes in travel plans and auto use, and property damage to unused properties are all concerns during this time. With these issues come worries about insurance agency overload. When you’re going through extraordinary times with your employees, one of the first steps to a healthy working relationship is to acknowledge the challenges. Show strong, calm, and visible leadership and work together with your staff to determine how to proceed. It’s not business as usual.
Communicate With Your Employees
During times of rapid change and crisis, uncertainty is rampant. This can make it very hard for employees to do their work because clients will call for answers and your employees may not know what to do. According to Workplace Strategies for Mental Health, with clients and employees, you can work to:
- Create an outline of what you know and outline approaches to take
- Tell them what is unknown and how you are working to get a better understanding
If you are a small company that is used to informal workplace conversation rather than formal briefings or meetings, now could be the time to implement more structured communication to ensure that your employees receive regular updates that they can refer to as they work.
Be Compassionate Towards Your Employees
In times when everyone needs to work harder at their insurance jobs and yet just as accurately, you expect a lot of your employees. However, this level of work and expectation quickly becomes draining, particularly if your employees are also managing increased challenges at home. The Harvard Business Review states that “nearly 40% of people say their company has not even asked them how they’re doing since the pandemic began.” Even if you have an HR department, people tend to respond better to inquiries from those they know well. Listen to your employees, and consider sharing at an interpersonal level as well. Relate to each other as people, not just as staff. Make all employees aware of mental health resources in the community, and if you have employees who are able to take on additional work, allow employees to take a mental health day now and then.
Reach Out to Those Working Insurance Jobs From Home
The transition to working from home can be positive for some, but it can also be isolating. For those trying to juggle childcare, elder care, home duties, and an increased workload, it can be positively overwhelming. The informal discussion that you used to have at work is gone, replaced with more formal email requests. If you have employees who are working from home, call them for an informal conversation, or add check-ins to your videoconferences.
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