When coronavirus started to spread around the world, companies had to act quickly and adapt to new circumstances. They put their employees’ safety first and arranged for them to work remotely. Although some employees find this work arrangement particularly appealing, it is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it prevents businesses from collapsing during the crisis. On the other, it comes with some serious challenges. When working remotely, managers struggle with engaging employees. This is the time when you, as a manager, need your employees engaged the most. Take a look at some of the ways you can maintain employee engagement throughout the pandemic.
Provide the Right Tools
To boost employee engagement, you have to provide the right tools. Since they now work remotely, they need proper devices and platforms to communicate and share information. This means investing in high-quality employee engagement software. Some companies have used similar software even when they worked in an office. If this isn’t the case with you, then make sure to find the one that suits your company the best. When you decide on the right tool, encourage your employees to use it on a daily basis. Make it the primary communication channel where all important updates and files will be shared. This way, employees will have to start using the app since their work depends on the information shared through the app.
Now that you have given your employees all the necessary tools, you can start encouraging them to work together. Teamwork is the best way to engage employees. Feeling like a part of the team is especially important during a crisis. Employees feel better about themselves and they are willing to participate in all corporate activities. Even during the pandemic and remote work, your employees can still collaborate. Thanks to the tools you provided, they can work together as a team regardless of team members’ locations. It gives them the space they need to brainstorm, solve problems, as well as get to know each other and make friendships. Therefore, their morale remains high just like their engagement.
Continue with Professional Development Programs
Some managers have put all professional development programs and training on hold. They are expensive and impossible to conduct given the circumstances. However, now more than ever, you should continue to invest in your employees. They have to master skills to help them navigate through all challenges they might face once the pandemic is over. Not only will you engage them but also turn them into strong team leaders. Find innovative ways to include them in the learning process. It doesn’t have to be face to face. Allow individual and group learning in digital classrooms and online courses. Think about which skills might become necessary in the upcoming months and suggest your employees acquire them. This way you will have more qualified employees and prevent them from leaving because of insufficient opportunities for growth.
Promote Healthy Work-Life Balance
As a manager, you should take care of your employees’ wellbeing and health. Since they work from the comfort of their homes, their private and professional lives are no longer separate. Reminding them to balance their work and life helps them stay healthy and focused. For this reason, you should allow time for recovery. Encourage them to take breaks as often as they need to throughout the day. During this time, they can practice self-care, have lunch or a cup of coffee, or go for a walk. Also, you can introduce a rule where there are no emails or calls after COB. This will help them separate their work from their private life. During the recovery time, they recharge and relax. As a result, they are full of energy the next day and ready to work hard.
Assign Challenging Tasks
The best way to engage employees is to give them challenging tasks and projects to complete. Their engagement largely depends on the work they do. If it isn’t challenging enough, they easily get bored. When they get bored and complacent, they don’t feel they need to engage which is bad for the business. For this reason, you should make sure tasks put their experience and skills to the test. Allow them to try out tasks with various levels of difficulty. Employees will then polish their skills and master some new ones at the same time. Equally important is to collect their feedback regarding their tasks and activities. How do they feel about their work? Are tasks demanding and stimulating enough? Do they help them develop professionally? This will help you tailor projects to their needs in the future and keep them engaged and competitive in the long run.
Lena Hemsworth is a writer who is constantly searching for more and trying to expand her knowledge about topics such as business, marketing, and workplace productivity. She believes that good internal communications are the key to every business’s success. In addition, on her days off, she loves to lose herself in a good book.
Employee engagement stock photo by Photon photo/Shutterstock