Maintain a Sense of Purpose and Togetherness
COVID-19 has impacted the entire world in different ways. And corporations are no exception. Especially now they need to know how to engage employees during a crisis.

  • For Some, Market Cap Is Increasing: Some sectors like high tech, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, media, and gaming are booming and struggling to keep up with demand and keep their employees safe.

  • For Some, Market Cap Is Decreasing: Some sectors like commercial aerospace, travel, hospitality, banking, oil and gas, and real estate are struggling to stay afloat in the midst of an uncertain future and their employees wonder if they’ll be able to return to their jobs and how those jobs will differ from before the pandemic.

During times of high volatility and continued uncertainty, it is more important than ever for leaders to engage their employees. Somehow companies must project a sense of purpose and togetherness during this challenging period.

How to Drive Employee Engagement During a Crisis
Employees still need to feel as if they belong and that their contribution matters. Here are six ways to keep your employees actively involved and motivated even when they are working remotely and under the stress of the times:

  1. Be Honest and Straightforward
    It matters now more than ever that you be transparent. Your workers need to be frequently informed as the company makes plans and looks forward. If they are not regularly updated with information they can trust, they will feel insecure, left out and concerned that the company does not have the wherewithal to survive.

  2. Solicit Feedback
    What are your employees really thinking and feeling? What are their issues and concerns as they try to balance new responsibilities at home and health concerns with the continuing demands of the job? Keep in touch by phone one-on-one and through virtual meetings with the team where employee input is encouraged.

    Some companies may choose to use an anonymous, organization-wide employee engagement survey. This should give you an opportunity to see where you need to focus. Gather the results, share them and then, with the help of your employees, prioritize where you can improve and create an action plan.

    Just remember that your survey results are only as good as the visible and meaningful engagement actions that you implement based upon the feedback.

  3. Reiterate Corporate Values
    Let your core corporate values be your guide as you strive to uphold the company culture that is the mainstay of your success. Model, reinforce, and reward the mission of the company and the fundamental beliefs about how people should behave and get work done.

  4. Be Creative
    Try to think of ways that you can gather virtually that are more lighthearted and designed to reinforce the togetherness that employees are missing. Do not forget to do the small things like celebrate birthdays, share good news, and create positive social interactions. You can even set up virtual coffee and happy hours to visit and chat as you would if you were co-located. And with virtual and online learning readily available, perhaps it is a good time to do some targeted skill building.

  5. Recognize Small Wins
    The business news cannot be all bad. Be sure to recognize steps forward and outstanding employee contributions. A major aspect of engagement is feeling appreciated.

  6. Strengthen the Trust
    Trust your employees to do their job remotely. Monitor progress but don’t micromanage. As they rely on you to keep them informed and connected, you must rely on them to treat their responsibilities seriously.

The Bottom Line
Employee engagement can be a challenge in the best of economic times. It is more difficult when the economy is in turmoil. But it is not at all impossible and it is even more important to engage employees during a crisis. Stay connected to your employees, listen to their concerns, keep them informed of the good and the bad, and include them in the plans for the future.

To learn about more actions to take, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement

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