Productivity

Improving Employee Engagement During Uncertain Times

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Mar 19, 2021
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Are you worried about how to keep your employees engaged and happy during uncertain times? Are you searching for ways to aid in improving employee engagement? No one likes uncertainty, change, or disruption. This principle remains true whether the change is a virus, reorganization, work from home models, downsizing, or political mix-up. 

Uncertainty requires businesses, managers, leaders, and employers to adopt a new way of thinking about how to strengthen the culture, engage more with employees and neutralize the effects of uncertainty. 

What is Employee Engagement?

What is Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is an approach that results in favorable work conditions for employees to ensure their best be given every day. It also includes their commitment to the company’s values, goals, and ambitions. These are intended to motivate all involved and to contribute to success and enhance the well-being of all employees. 

It is based on two-way commitment, integrity, trust, and communication. Employee engagement is an asset that can increase productivity, motivation, and performance. It is about everyone understanding their roles and duties, being excited and inspired, and knowing where or how they fit in with the organization’s objectives and purpose.  

The Impact of Uncertainty 

The Impact of Uncertainty

Uncertainty for prolonged periods can take a toll on employees and can be the main contributor to stress, which is linked to other psychological implications on the body. These can include increased heart rate, anxiety, hormone surges, and it can even cause mental breakdown episodes. 

While healthy amounts of stress can help in times of danger or when working under pressure. During longer periods, it can pose serious health complications and illnesses, such as chronic depression. Whenever employees are stressed, they are often less productive and effective. They are also way more likely to start practicing absenteeism. It is better for them to do some activities to avoid burnout while working as well as reduce stress and improve employee engagement.

Recommendations 

The onus is on managers to increase employee engagement with all the resources and power they have. Here are a few ways to boost employee engagement:

Create Community 

 Create Community

Managers have the ability and communication skills to encourage a sense of connection and a feeling of worth in employees. This applies even when they are remotely working. The idea is to motivate and energize people and the organization to achieve its maximum potential. This sense of community becomes extremely crucial to increase employee engagement when employees start feeling isolated while working remotely. 

Honest and Translucency 

Managers that are good models of organizational values, especially during uncertainty and change, comprehend the importance of leadership. Establishing a system that is value-based through example communicates an influential message in engaging employees. Honesty and translucency aids in fostering trust, relationship building, and open dialogue. Honest managers can lead their teams and boost employee engagement by setting a positive tone.   

Aligning Employees 

Managers have the same convincing vision as that of the organization to align employee’s purpose with the organization's goals. They are also responsible for providing a clear action plan and strategies, and leaning into remote collaboration to ensure the company moves toward the unified mission, even if the future is blurry.

Equipment Provision 

Equipment Provision

Weather in a remote or face to face context, a company is responsible for ensuring that its employees have all the tools and fixtures they need to get the job done. Much of the process is handled by management. A manager must comprehend the job the team must do and communicate with employees to keep abreast of changing needs. One of the best ways to improve a remote team is to outfit it with the relevant equipment to bridge the location gap.

A smart home standing desk and an ergonomic chair go a long way here. Even in the face-to-face context, the team should access the best equipment. Don't wait until an employee gets to the point of being unable to work or too frustrated with the company to start paying attention to whatever needs have been highlighted. Apart from making the job more efficient, employees feel a sense of engagement in knowing that the company cares enough to ensure their comfort and look out for their health. 

Team building 

Many people subscribe to the belief that the team must be in the same location to bond well. On the contrary, being in a remote workspace is where real bonding can happen since it no longer feels like a consequence of proximity. When a team is based in different places, each team member stands a chance of feeling the negative effects of isolation. While such a phenomenon can be dangerous, it's also the perfect opportunity to build employee engagement.

Even those who may not want to admit it do not constantly thrive on being alone. Therefore, it's up to a manager to know how to take advantage of the craving for collaboration to facilitate virtual team bonding activities for improving employee engagement. There are many games and other options that can be used to achieve this to excellent effect.

Learning 

Learning

This is a twofold point. First, this is the best time for the company to invest in the learning and growth of its workforce. Whatever training programs, wellness programs or certifications can be used in this process should be used. One of the easiest ways to facilitate employee engagement is to allow them to feel like their personal growth is on the business agenda. As a business pours into an employee, the employee is willing to pour back. 

On the flip side, it's also an opportunity for the management team to start doing some research and learning. Insight breeds innovation, and that goes beyond the boundaries of the operational core. This learning should be geared towards understanding the people aspect of the company. What kind of feelings should you be looking out for? What might people be saying? If you are going to be undertaking this aspect, ensure that all segments of management are willing to make necessary changes based on the information learned.

Conclusion

All the information above should give you some great pointers on how to improve employee engagement. An uncertain time makes this even more mandatory than it usually is since you can never predict what people may do in an altered mental state. Though meeting numbers and organizational targets is crucial, improving employee engagement should always be a part of the company plan.

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