Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit in 2020, businesses across all industries have been struggling to keep employees engaged. With so many people working remotely now, it’s important for leaders to find ways of ensuring high performance and productivity while simultaneously helping team members maintain their energy, drive and mental and physical health.
If you are a manager or business owner, showing your employees that you care about them on a personal level is key to fruitful engagement. Here are innovative ways of boosting employee engagement to ensure that your company comes out of this global health crisis stronger than ever.
Don’t micromanage their time. Everyone’s schedules are different. Instead of worrying about how they are allocating their time, set clear goals and allow them to develop their own timeline based on company deadlines and priorities empowers them to work when they are their peak.
LET ALL EMPLOYEES CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIAL MEDIA
Open the doors to all employees to contribute to social media channels. Marketing and communications teams usually “own” oversight of the channels. But other internal teams often have valuable content that speaks more closely to customers’ needs, rather than just “brandspeak.” They may not participate frequently, but creating more opportunities for them to contribute can boost employee engagement.
HAVE EXECUTIVES DO CROSS-FUNCTIONAL CHECK-INS
Have executives call everyone on the employee list just to check in, and do it cross-functionally. Having an executive you don’t report to start a conversation with you tells you that the company cares enough to take time and replace those former, casual “water cooler” conversations that build the fabric of culture across the organization.
HOLD INFORMAL ‘COFFEE CHATS’ ONCE A WEEK OR MONTH
It has proven effective shifting from a formal, monthly all-hands meeting to informal weekly virtual “coffee chats,” where employees could connect more frequently and in a casual way. The pandemic caused many challenges for employees, and having a safe space to share and see that everyone has their own story was very positive. Staying connected was the key to success this past year.
TRAIN AND UPSKILL EMPLOYEES TO EXPAND THEIR ROLES
There is research stating that the aftermath of the pandemic may create more issues regarding the retention of employees, who now have the opportunity to work for a whole new set of companies that are not in their geographical location. Training employees and providing them with new skills that they can apply within expanding roles is a way of improving your workforce and showing that you value their contribution.
ASK EMPLOYEES HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
Let them share their thoughts; find reasons and engage in bigger cause.
HAVE TEAMS COME UP WITH KEY PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
True employee engagement goes beyond holding team bonding events. You have to treat your team members as adults and trust them to succeed. One way this can be done is by having the team collectively come up with the KPIs by which they’ll be measured. Their involvement helps employees feel vested in a positive outcome for all.
ENGAGE ON A PERSONAL LEVEL
Working for a small company, even virtually, has its advantages, such as getting to know your co-workers. Using a dedicated Slack channel, we celebrate everything—not just client successes, but also weddings, engagements, new homes – all of the things that make us happy. By showing that we care and support each other personally, we become a company that cares.
LISTEN TO EMPLOYEES FIRST
Listening is an essential first step in boosting both employee engagement and loyalty. In the past year, company that doubled down on listening, found that team members were feeling high levels of stress and burnout. This sparked the launch of a new program called “A Day for Me,” which offers a company-wide, paid day off in addition to PTO. This simple move hit the mark, showing that the company cares.
CELEBRATE SMALL VICTORIES
It is important to celebrate small victories and remind employees that they are valued members of your team. Whether this includes sending a quick note via email, mailing a small gift of appreciation or hosting virtual events to encourage interaction, acknowledging successes and ensuring that team members can still connect in this “new normal” are great ways to motivate them and boost engagement.
OPEN MULTIPLE OUTLETS FOR COMMUNICATION
The past year has really taught us how unique people are, and that everyone communicates differently. It had noticed that having a single way for employees to be engaged is not an inclusive approach. Instead, implementation of multiple outlets for engagement, including email, social media and virtual meetings. This gives everyone space and the opportunity to get involved in a way that’s comfortable.
PLAY A WORK –RELATED GAME TOGETHER
Host a regular, virtual game about the programs you communicate about externally. This is a great way to build knowledge on your team while increasing employee engagement and morale in a fun, virtual space. You can also use game to share best practices for pitching in creative ways with your team, and then externally promote the topics (answers of quizzes discussions etc.)
ALLOW EMPLOYEES TO GIVE EACH OTHER SMALL REWARDS
Small rewards can make a big difference, especially when distributed between employees and not just from managers to members of their teams. Something simple given by an employee to another employee for helping with a project, working extra hard, can really boost engagement in a meaningful and sustainable way