Increase Employee Loyalty by not being stringent on 100% employee performance during Coronavirus Crisis

World is amid war right now and work-from-home has become the new reality. There will be significant changes in the work style as people can’t buy time because there is no more domestic help available. In the pre-Covid times, we had restaurants to deliver food, domestic for cleaning and a nanny to take care of children.

But, now when social distancing has become a norm, we all are all by ourselves. Even though we are doing work from home, we have to clean the house, cook, take care of children and if someone falls sick, in other words we are working amidst distractions.

So, how can we expect 100% performance? Rather, what we can expect is employee loyalty, if we become flexible and give liberties in case of emergencies that will earn respect as a manager said Barbara Larson, a management professor at Northeastern University. According to the professor, we cannot expect 100% productivity during wartime and leverages should be given, so that people can take care of their family and do household chores. She said now is not the time to expect 100% focus and managers should settle for 80-100% focus on most days. 

When she was asked about the criteria on which focus can be tested, she responded that factors can be results and output rather than deadlines. We are not in office and attendance and online presence are the factors which are rewarded, but these cannot be the factors for work from home.

In practice, the managers can set time when everyone is supposed to be online and if an official is supposed to be chatting online with customers for specific hours then check whether the person is available or not. Such measures will give them liberty and hold every individual accountable for outputs. 

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According to Barbara Larson, a common mistake every manager makes is being a control freak. She quoted an example of her friend where the head of the company conducted a call in all hands meeting thrice a day, which was frustrating for the employees. She is now the time when employees should not be burdened with work as most of them are parents handling kids and their parents along with household chores. Instead, by being flexible and lenient the managers will earn employee loyalty which is a big pay off.