June 2020

Keeping employees engaged under difficult circumstances

Employee engagement is critical to productivity, retention and dependability of staff. It can not only be defined by how invested, committed, motivated and engaged the employee is with their role, but how invested they are in the overall success of the business. Factors especially important in unpredictable and difficult times like COVID-19. 

Unfortunately, employee engagement has fallen by the wayside for some during the pandemic due to the ‘operational’ focus required. Evident in a recent global survey from Harvard Business School, which suggests 40% of employers had not asked how their employees were doing during the pandemic. 

Under this ‘new normal’, social intelligence and flexibility will be contributing factors in how well your employees and business weather the storm. 

For example, challenges like remote working will require leaders with empathy who can assess individual circumstances and demonstrate empowerment through trust.

To improve engagement employers can also reflect on and celebrate the whole person i.e. an employee’s personal achievements, those doing it tough, or parents just needing to homeschool at the moment. As well as simply appreciating a person’s longer-term fit within the business by looking for career development opportunities – no matter how small.

Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to leadership and employee engagement, so each situation requires individual insight and consideration.

While this new working environment may seem daunting, perhaps it has presented a renewed focus on the importance and benefit of engaged employees?

Employee engagement take-aways

  • Empowerment through trust
  • The importance of each contribution
  • Celebrating success
  • Celebrating each other
  • Career development opportunities
  • No one-size-fits-all approach
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