The Covid-19 pandemic has had apparent economic, social and psychological consequences. The social distance also makes us lose connection with those around us, especially in the workplace. So when society reopens, business leaders face a challenge of rebuilding employee engagement.
Employee engagement is an important driver of performance and has long been a top priority for achieving a competitive advantage. Despite more improvements in recent years, the current employee engagement (35%) still remains low.
Improving on employee engagement is imperative going forward. In a world where the economy and society have been affected by the loss and disruption caused by the pandemic, employees drives for connection and purpose. Improving your employee engagement and the core values will be more important than ever.
However, restoring and improving engagement will not be easy. In this article, we introduce five skillsets to help leaders increase employee engagement.
When returning to work, your employees may have other needs and expectations. For some people who love the remote work experience, they expect more flexibility in the future. However, there are also some employees who didn’t enjoy the work-from-home setting, they would be eagerly return to the office. It’s good to remember that your employees are nervous, and take part in face-to-face conversation, use survey to understand their problems, then tailor your management according to each individual needs. There are no specific management guidelines about this pandemic, so you will have to listen, learn and adjust constantly to new situations.
Prioritize mental health
This pandemic also makes us to realize the importance of mental health in workplace. According to a report by McKinsey, this recovery period is a great opportunity to strengthen workplace connectivity.
“Recognizing and addressing human emotions about grief, loss and anxiety is an opportunity to rebuild organizational connection, productivity and retain talent. This makes a historical opportunity to overcome mental and emotional health stigma which are taboo topics in workplace discussion. ”
Become a trusted source
Employees often view their leaders as a reliable source of information during a pandemic. In the coming months, leaders must build and deepen that trust.
You can do so by being open about building protocols related to COVID-19 and being transparent any economic uncertainties your company may encounter. Clear and open communication will give employees a peace of mind.
You want your employees to see you as a coach, not just a boss. As a recent research from Gallup points out, managers may even need to train employees on things like how to work at home with their kids.
In the future, many things will change. Business leaders therefore face continuous cycles of disruption and adaptation. The economy is likely to remain unstable in the upcoming years. Strong organizations are the ones that can nurture resilience and accept challenges. In addition, the employees can also adapt quicker with the support of their leaders.
This is a great opportunity for you to build a strong and connected team for years to come.
Looking into future with a purpose
Your employees will be more motivated with a clear vision of the future. Despite many challenges, this is a historic opportunity to rebuild a sense of the common purpose of your business. The days of isolation have awakened us all to the importance of connection and the fragility of what we love. Pay attention to incorporating purpose and value into everyday discussions with your employees, redesigning structures and processes to accommodate changing realities, seizing opportunities for new missions and purposes. This will help you and your employees to write a new, promising and good future together.