Because of the pandemic, the economy is in shambles. Some companies had to furlough or lay off employees to keep their businesses afloat. Other employees are lucky to keep their jobs. But they still struggle financially. One survey found that 67% of the participants are experiencing financial stress following the pandemic.
Business owners may find themselves in a difficult situation where they want to help their employees financially. But they can’t since their businesses are also experiencing financial setbacks.
If you find yourself in the same situation, you can try the following strategies to support your employees without raising their wages:
Allow Flexible Schedules
Some employees are still struggling because of working from home. This setup may be complicated for them. And they may feel exhausted by other stressors as well.
To support employees, you can implement a flexible working schedule. Let employees start their workday within a given timeframe. For example, if the employee works the day shift, allow them to start their workday around 6 AM to 10:30 AM. Flextime can help employees reach a work-life balance. It can also motivate them and make them more productive.
Respect Employees’ Rest Days
More employees are now working from home. So the line between work and rest has become thinner than ever. Employees are not only working longer hours. They’re also working on weekends. One survey found that 70% of the respondents work weekends since the pandemic and the work-from-home setup has been implemented.
Working too many hours in a week is unhealthy. Thus, as a business owner, you must respect the rest days of your employees. As much as possible, avoid contacting them about work-related things during the weekend. Letting your employees have their well-deserved rest is a way of supporting them by considering their well-being.
Invest in Training Programs
If you can’t give pay raises at the moment, consider investing in training programs instead. You can conduct general ones like communication training, creative thinking, project planning, and so on. You can also conduct seminars on topics that are more specific to the employees’ roles.
Training doesn’t have a huge upfront cost. It also shows a good gesture on your part. Giving your employees educational opportunities in the workplace shows that you care for their career growth.
Give Employees Additional Time Off
Work-from-home employees have a lot on their plate. For example, if an employee has their own family, they have to take care of not just work but also their children and household chores.
Show your employees that you care by giving them extra time off. They can use the time to recharge. They can also spend some time with their family. For example, employees can use the free time to cook in their outdoor kitchen and have a family picnic in the backyard.
A mental break is always beneficial for both employees and employers. Employees can return more energized and more productive. And employers receive quality work.
Implement a Shorter Work Week
When employees shifted to a remote setup, many struggled to manage their time. As mentioned earlier, many employees are working longer hours, about three hours more each day. Employees have eliminated the hours wasted on the long commute or drive. But those hours were put into work instead. Given this information, employees are working more than the recommended 40 hours a week.
Thus, you can consider implementing a shorter workweek. For example, you can let your employees work for four days only. Or if this isn’t feasible, you can also try nine-hour workdays from Monday to Thursday then a half workday on Friday. This shorter workweek will give your employees more flexibility and claim their work-life balance back.
Allow Moonlighting, If You Don’t Already
Many employers are not fond of moonlighting. Some see this as a disadvantage because their employees will not entirely focus on their full-time job. And this may result in loss of productivity and bad work performance.
But in the middle of a pandemic where employees are struggling financially, moonlighting may be the only thing that can help ends meet. Some have a full-time job and then take one or two more gigs on the side. Others open a small business.
Thus, if you don’t already, allow employees to moonlight. As long as your employees deliver high-quality outputs and have a clean track record, there’s no reason to prevent them from moonlighting.
There are many ways to support your employees without financially burdening yourself as a business owner. Consider what your employees need and implement a strategy or two to empower them.