How to Maximize Employee Engagement during a pandemic

There is no doubt that the current Covid-19 pandemic has caused panic and thrown our usual way of working up in the air. However, we mustn’t lose sight of what’s important, and if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s the need to look out for one another.

Employee Engagement, therefore, is more critical now than ever before. Employee Engagement is the secret sauce that allows an organisation to work together as one and achieve favourable results.

At times like this, ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’ rings loud in my ears.

Maslow’s study shows that we need to lay the foundations and satisfy each need before we move on to the next need. With safety being second only to eat and sleep, it highlights why we need the right safety measures in place and clearly communicated.

Without everyone feeling completely safe and secure, the rest just won’t matter. That’s not to say that the rest of the needs aren’t important, it just means that safety comes first. Only then can you move on to the next stage and truly start to re-build Engagement.

We recently published an article on the Six Steps to Building a Team during the Covid-19 crisis, which you can access here.

Recent Insights

It’s interesting to look at recent Employee Engagement survey results. It truly is a mixed bag. Some Engagement scores have dropped by 10%. However, companies that have managed the situation well – kept in close contact and put the safety of their employees first – actually saw a jump in their results by an average of 15%. Amazing to see that despite the challenging environment, they were still able to improve Engagement. And that will translate to better business results.

How did they do it? 

It came down to three practical steps…

Communicate, Listen, Act.

  1. Communication – Those clients that saw their scores improve had a strong communications plan. They used their communications channels to remind their team of the safety measures in place, any changes to the businesses operating procedures, opening hours, new restrictions etc. Constantly reminding them that their needs and safety comes first above all else. 

    Safety also includes employment, so keeping their team reassured that their role is safe is hugely important. (This can only be done if that is actually true of course).

    They also made a conscious decision to communicate more light-hearted information too. They played games, had non-work-related chats, shared health, and wellbeing practices and invited speakers and experts to participate.
  1. Listen – The communication wasn’t all one-sided. They took the time to listen to every individual’s needs. It was a proactive approach – they didn’t wait for people to come to them; they sought out the feedback.
  1. Act – Nothing makes people feel listened to more than you acting on their feedback. More often than not, concerns centred around safety measures, worries with family members at home, and their job security. Whatever the concern, it’s essential you act fast. That may be as simple as giving them more information, or making changes to the processes to give them peace of mind.

Of course, there are so many more things you could do, but it all starts with the basics. If you don’t get the above right and reassure your team of their safety, then the rest will be a complete waste of time.

To support you with this, we’ve created a free ‘Covid-19 Employee Survey‘ with a mix of ‘working with restrictions’ and ‘working from home’ questions.

You can register here.

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