Employee Engagement In Challenging Times - 5 Key Tactics

5 Minutes

A blog from our partners Thymus Consulting, written by Olivier Maitre, CEO In this ongoing c...

A blog from our partners Thymus Consulting, written by Olivier Maitre, CEO In this ongoing crisis, it is key that employers demonstrate that they CARE about their staff. It is not only vital for current and future talent retention but it is also part of your brand reputation in the long term. With many employees working from home or out of the office, companies struggle to motivate their staff and respond to their stress levels. Traditional methods to address employee engagement and needs may not apply.

Here are some key tactics that work:

Get to know your employees better: 

Many managers don’t know their employees outside of their job or outside of the office. Use the crisis to find time to connect with them one on one, even if by video. Show a real interest in their personal life, their current challenges, and their passions outside of work. Ask questions, listen, and act if needed. Professionally, also try implementing the same interest level and get outside of the box. Map ALL their skills: Employees are often known and appreciated within the remit of their current roles. They may have a hobby or skill unknown to management that is currently lacking in the organization. Use this crisis to map all individual skills at work and their passions outside of work. For example, you may discover that one of your employees in Finance has a passion for social media. It just so happens that the Communications department isn’t using social media to its full potential and can benefit from their skillset.

The employee's role may then evolve, split between Finance and Communications. They will tell all their friends and colleagues that the company has genuinely listened to them and they now love their job even more than before. A real win-win is taking place. Involve them in problem-solving: Many businesses are having to redefine their ways of working. Do it collaboratively. Involve employees, get them to work as teams, and give them a voice so that they can propose solutions to increase their departments’ efficiency. Consider Design Thinking workshops to achieve this. Strongly consider and dare to test out the changes they recommend to keep credibility. Recognize and celebrate: Where we are limited in our ability to organize and hold company parties and team celebrations at the moment, it is not a reason to forget employee recognition. While working from home is now well accepted by the majority of employees, the physical distance from their team can create a real disconnection. It is then critical to recognize individuals or teams’ contributions even more than before.

Creativity has no limit in this area even during Covid-19: send flowers, chocolates, and fruit baskets, or organize a special video call with a surprise agenda item with attendees especially “dressed” for the celebration. I am sure you and your colleagues can think of many ideas. Secure psychological safety: Many people are struggling to feel secure, for many different reasons, uncertainty about their professional and personal future; working from home continuously; doubting the value they create, or being directly impacted by Covid-19. Companies should seek to provide psychological safety, where employees can be honest about their emotions and feel listened to.

Many individuals go through a grief process, without realizing it and if managers can recognize and act on this, they will gain an incredible level of respect and trust in the long term. Caring about employees’ well-being will go a long way. Overall it is key to build an ecosystem where you and your employees can safely sustain and experience a new work environment – providing continuous updates, rotating employees from high-speed and demanding tasks to less stressful activities, encouraging people to ask for more support from their peers, and sharing beautiful news more often – it all can make a real difference!

If you need assistance in setting up a new engagement campaign or a psychological safety program in your workplace, Thymus Consulting can help, contact them at www.thymusconsulting.com and follow them on LinkedIn