Author: Ivana Mihajlović, HR Director at DIRECT MEDIA United Solutions
Two months after the lockdown was lifted, we received an important email. An international organization measuring employee happiness in the workplace informed us that we had been recognized as a People First company — as a result of our employees’ consistently positive reviews during the state of emergency.
Remote working triples the need for communication at all levels of the organization. Managing the different types of anxiety caused by the COVID-19 situation is not an easy task. We cannot assume that people are alright today merely because they were OK yesterday. We all have bad days. We should take care so that those days don’t turn into weeks. That is why we introduced a program for psychological support and weekly monitoring of employees’ feelings (Heartcount) — because mental health care is now more important than ever.
People are different in emotional response, stress tolerance, and resilience — but one thing is the same for everyone, they know to recognize genuine care and understanding (especially in crisis) and know to reciprocate. They have become even more creative in finding solutions and providing support to partners in the pandemic. Thanks to their synergy and initiative, we are successfully overcoming obstacles.
Last year, we became the region’s first agency to meet the requirements for the Family Friendly certificate, which means that even before the coronavirus, we had recognized the importance of flexible working hours and workplaces. Although the coronavirus has propagated their use, I deeply believe that the timely consideration of modern work models had made it easier for us to adapt to the new company reality.
Another thing that helps is that we listen to and acknowledge our employees’ different needs, views, and roles — both professional and personal. This month, UNICEF Serbia spotlighted our company practice as an example of family-friendly business.
But we won’t be getting too comfortable because of recognition. How do we maintain morale and meet goals in a time of uncertainty and unfavorable forecasting? I teach both myself and others patience — “just be kind with yourself.” After all, we’re only people. We’re capable of surviving difficulties. Let’s believe in ourselves and our strengths — this too shall pass… All will be well!
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