It isn’t surprising that the Coronavirus pandemic has brought the global economy to its knees.
According to a World Bank report, the global economy is in the worst recession since World War 2. Such is the toll the COVID-19 pandemic has exacted.
More importantly, official World Health Organization statistics suggest that globally over nine hundred thousand people have succumbed to COVID-19’s cold hands. Its shadows yet lurk around looking for new victims.
The eCommerce sector is feeling Coronavirus-induced effects in a big way too.
How can eCommerce retailers boost employee morale in these trying times?
What are the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on eCommerce retailing?
Effects Of The COVID-19 Pandemic on eCommerce Retailing
Evidence suggests that the global eCommerce market is snowballing despite the Coronavirus pandemic.
Restrictions placed on movement have left most people with no choice other than to make their purchases online. This has prompted some retailers to move their retail business entirely online.
However, travel, fashion, and events still appear to be struggling to survive the shark-infested waters of the COVID-19-shattered global economy.
The general increase in eCommerce retail sales means more job tasks for employees. This can overburden them and affect their morale.
As a business leader, your leadership skills are needed in these crucial times. It will help if you put all hands on deck to keep them motivated to give their best to grow your eCommerce retailing business and churn out innovative ideas to prevent your customers from leaving for competitors.
Here are proven ways to boost employee morale and ensure they give their very best during the COVID-19 crisis.
Five Ways eCommerce Retailers Can Boost Employee Morale During the COVID-19 Pandemic
1. Safety First
Creating a safe workspace is the first step in boosting employee morale.
There could be few things more depressing to employees than discovering that their line of work significantly exposes them to dangerous diseases like Coronavirus when they are not frontline health workers. The employer not showing enough care can make matters worse.
eCommerce retailers should leave no stone unturned in ensuring strict compliance with safety policies.
Cleanliness and personal hygiene should be your company’s watchwords.
Provide hand sanitizers and other preventive kits, and ensure that contaminated kits are effectively disposed off to prevent the spread of the disease.
Knowing that you care about their health in these trying times will do wonders in boosting your employees’ morale.
Regardless of the safety measures you choose to enforce, ensure they cause as little inconvenience to workers as possible.
Chart a different path for your company by considering the convenience of your employees before settling for a safety measure.
2. Maintain Constant Communication With Your Employees
One of the most effective ways of boosting employee morale in these unusual times is to communicate frequently with them.
Effective communication through periodic meetings, whether virtual or physical, will help reduce stress as they allow employers to express their genuine concerns and grievances.
As the arrowhead of your team, constant communication will allow you to pass on necessary instructions to make employees’ work easier.
Leaving them in the dark about stock levels, store procedures, and other allied matters should be avoided at all costs. It will leave them confused as to whether they are taking the right decisions.
Leverage on communication technology for constant and effective communication; this certainly is not the time to allow bureaucratic bottlenecks to restrict access to communication.
3. Strive for a Connected Team
The Coronavirus pandemic and the resultant social distancing and isolation enforcement policies at work by retailers pose a threat to building an interconnected team.
They can, unfortunately, lead to a feeling of boredom and loneliness, which can abruptly decrease the morale of team members.
After all, humans are social animals; most are wired to perform better in social groups.
How best can employers in an eCommerce retailing business address loneliness and boredom in this era of social distancing policies?
One way to turn things around is to invest in communication technology that ensures that team members stay connected, whether they choose to work from home or not.
Create dedicated spaces and channels on platforms such as Zoom and Slack to aid social connection.
4. Offer Attractive Incentives
Even the most fervent altruist expects to be rewarded for a job well done.
The reward for labor is commensurate wages and salary.
One of your surest bets to boost employee morale during the pandemic is to reward them adequately for their effort.
Introduce bonuses, hazard allowances, and other incentives to spur them into giving their best and working harder.
Take a leaf from Asda, which recently announced plans to pay employees that are on isolation for 12 weeks. The company has also announced plans to sponsor vulnerable employees on an all-expense-paid leave.
There is no doubt that these kind gestures will significantly boost employee morale.
Incentives transcend a fat paycheck; make sure to recognize outstanding employees when the COVID-19 storm ends.
5. Build a Personal Relationship With Your Employees
How would you treat the business affairs of someone who truly cares about you?
Whether an employee is going through a bad divorce or emotional troubles or tending to sick parents, you should be available as a pillar of support.
The reality of the Coronavirus pandemic is that some of your employees are probably personally affected by the outbreak.
At the end of the day, humans are social animals.
Restrictions on social interactions and safety measures can weigh down your employees, leading to low morale, which may, in turn, affect their work output.
Your employees need every iota of support they can garner at this crucial time.
Being genuinely concerned about your employees’ affairs will make them develop a sense of belonging to the team and treat your eCommerce retailing business as they would treat an ally.
It is only logical that knowing that the “boss” cares about their well-being will make a difference to their work output.
However, avoid stepping into their personal space uninvited. Exercise your best judgment. Too much familiarity, after all, breeds contempt.
The onus is on you to show you are genuinely interested and not a meddlesome interloper.
The COVID-19 pandemic, in many ways, is affecting eCommerce retailing positively as most brick-and-mortar stores are closed or functioning during restricted hours, leaving consumers with little choice but to transact online.
Even if things are not particularly rosy for your business, learning from the “winning guys” in this sector will be helpful.
Keeping your employees focused on the job at this crucial time is more than necessary.
It is what will allow you to put your business in a vantage position to reap the massive opportunities provided by the pandemic.
About the Author
Alina Burakova is a quintessential result-oriented writer with vast experience in content writing and providing educational services to businesses and individuals. Her liveplan review is as informative as it is brutally honest.
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