While summer may usually be time for employee vacations, team bonding activities, and planning on how to end the year strong, this year has obviously proven different. How are companies keeping morale high while employees across the tech industry experience personal challenges, job uncertainty, and remote working challenges?  

Last week, we launched the OurCrowd HR Club for our portfolio company executives to exchange knowledge, meet industry leaders, and discuss current market trends. Attendees had the opportunity to hear from OurCrowd experts as well as top industry leaders Paul Farmer, Talent & Culture Executive at Halma; and Odelia Pollack, CEO of ESOP-Excellence; as they discussed how HR executives can help their employees navigate the current crisis.

Here are 4 takeaways we got from Paul and Odelia, and the surrounding discussions with portfolio company HR representatives:

  1. Communicate, communicate, communicate: Paul could not stress enough how important it is for managers to communicate daily with their employees to ensure productivity and morale during these tumultuous times. Communicate consistently and show employees you care. Develop and communicate a plan of what the team would do if an employee, unfortunately, fell ill during this time. Incorporate “fun remote games” at team meetings. Explain how each employee is part of the bigger picture. 
  2. Use equity compensation: While cash is unquestionably king, many companies are currently cash-strapped. Odelia explained how stocks are an alternative method of payment that has the advantage of serving as a long term incentive. 
  3. Implement your company culture: Paul explained how Halma spent years developing and sustaining a “yes, and” culture and how they consistently implement it in both the people and the business processes. Employees who do not fit the company’s culture rarely last, so Paul explained how the hiring ads, the interview, and the entire employment process should ensure the employees imbue the team’s attitude. 
  4. Encourage flexibility, creativity, and productivity: Employees at home often have hectic schedules, and managers should request employees complete projects in a timely manner rather than asking to be available during the traditional workweek. Encourage employees to build out their work-life balance during this period of change. The kind of rigid scheduling that may have worked previously may do more harm than good in this work atmosphere. 

Through these policies, Paul and Odelia stressed how productivity and corporate culture are being reinforced during this pandemic rather than challenged by it. 

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