The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the performance and productivity of most organizations. Mostly affected is the education sector, especially schools dealing with AHD Students. According to CDC reports, approximately 6.1 million students in the US aged between 2 and 17 have ADHD (OECD, 2020). 31% of parents of children with ADHD state that remote learning has been very challenging without the usual support from teachers (OECD, 2020). Similarly, employees in education companies report challenges in maintaining high productivity, resilience, and performance levels.
Brief introduction of industry and losses
I’m employed as a manager in an educational company consisting of schools for children with learning difficulties. During the pandemic, learning was suspended in our special department due to the public health crisis. We commenced online learning, but this was also disrupted as parents raised concerns about the efficacy of this approach. Most of the team was disrupted, and the company only paid half the salary in exchange for the group continuing with online learning with a few students. To avoid such losses in the future, I reckon that curative measures should be implemented to prevent a decrease in productivity and performance if forced for closure once again.
Devising mechanisms to maintain productivity
School closure during the pandemic brings about several losses, such as disruption in learning timelines, employees’ demotivation, increased child burden care for parents, and reduced employee productivity. Additionally, parents may be discontented by online learning and therefore fail to be supportive. Thus, the management must devise mechanisms to maintain productivity and increase contentment for all stakeholders. ADHD students require special training in self-management competencies and skills. Most ADHD children studying online demonstrate difficulty learning new materials or completing tasks on time (OECD, 2020). Therefore, improving their self-teaching skills would improve academic performance and engagement when teachers are not available.
Improving online learning and parental engagement
The management should also not underestimate the impact of parental disapproval on remote learning. Managers should respond by inventing ways to make remote learning more efficient and up to the parents’ standards. For instance, the school may introduce weekly micro-teaching sessions whereby the teachers solely focus on the needs and progress of one student. This way, the parent feels that the child receives the attention that matches his needs. Parental engagement also contributes invaluably to online learning success. ADHD students perform better when guardians and instructors work collaboratively to promote learning (OECD, 2020). Parents should undergo training to supplement teachers’ efforts and manage ADHD students at home (OECD, 2020). The management should also provide additional financial support to employees during closure. Considering that workers receive a half salary, extra financial providences like supplementary insurance coverage and emergency assistance would greatly benefit them (OECD, 2020).
The senior management should also implement policies that foster communication, morale, and resilience among team members. Workers may get distracted and demotivated when away from the professional environment (OECD, 2020). According to recent research, more than half of the population working from home report increased burnout due to demoralization and limited social interactions (OECD, 2020). It is, therefore, crucial that a company implements systems and policies that increase bonding and communication among employees. Notably, the management is duty-bound to provide technological and socio-emotional support (OECD, 2020). The administration should capitalize on the newest technology (user-friendly interface) and increase employee access to support services. These incentives through aspirational are practical and can effectively eliminate the productivity gap in case the educational company is forced to closure once again.
OECD. (2020). The impact of COVID-19 on student equity and inclusion: Supporting vulnerable students during school closures and school re-openings. OECD.