As more workers have been forced into a remote working situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have come to realise that engagement can be a challenge. With workers no longer coming into the office every morning, finding motivation is proving to be more difficult than imagined.
As workers are faced with another day of working from their dining table or, even worse, from a laptop on their knee on the sofa, it can be difficult to get the real feel of being at work, particularly when other distractions crop up - the dog needing a walk, or toddlers demanding attention. It’s easy to see how it’s all-too-common to suffer from a lack of engagement with the work at hand
What Can Be Learned From The Pandemic About Engagement?
The term “employee engagement” is already well-known among business owners and leaders. Yet, what can the current pandemic crisis help us to learn that will still be valuable long-term?
Perhaps the most important aspect of employee engagement that has been seen during the coronavirus pandemic is the need for the maintenance of open and regular communication channels. This is especially invaluable among those who are working remotely and who need more effective and valuable interactions not only with managers but also with colleagues. Video calls, WhatsApp groups, telephone conversations, and desktop messenger apps are all now regularly being harnessed to facilitate effective communication and online face-to-face forums are now being embraced by companies everywhere in an attempt to engage with staff.
Organisation Culture and Remote Working
The culture of an organisation does not need to change because workers aren’t physically in the same room. Many social and cultural activities that form a key element of a business don’t need to come to an end but simply adapt to the new working environment. Rewarding and recognising colleagues and staff members publicly for their good work can still be done, just via video call or messenger apps instead. Virtual teams can be rewarded just as easily as physical ones when companies embrace the possibilities that technology provides.
Winning Employee Engagement
The strongest work teams are founded on trust, loyalty, and working together. Therefore, keeping teams intact and incentivised is key. It is companies that work the hardest to keep staff satisfied and secure in their jobs that will be able to reap all the benefits of a loyal staffing team. For this reason, employees need to be convinced that they are valuable to the company and that they aren’t just another number. For this reason, leadership teams need to address the worries that employees have about their emotional and physical well-being as well as about their future employment and financial stability. Leaders must be transparent and open with their plans, and this means regular empathic communication.
COVID-19 has presented a host of challenges to workplaces and business leaders everywhere, and many of the lessons about employee engagement that have been learned during this crisis must be retained and acted upon in the future. Leadership is already a valuable commodity, but strong leaders will be especially essential as we move forward. Those leaders who focus on effectively engaging their employees will be the ones whose companies stand out from the crowd and manage to attract and retain the top talent.
On 15th October, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham will be holding an Online Business Forum about Employee Engagement. The forum will also be looking at what training is available for businesses’ staff that they can access from local providers. Join the discussion here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/online-business-forum-employee-engagement-tickets-121524660531