Employees are the most important asset in any business, and keeping them engaged should be at the top of the list of your priorities.
When employees are engaged, they’ll go the extra mile to help the business perform better and become more profitable. But how do you keep employees engaged when times are tough?
The pandemic has forced businesses to deal with unprecedented challenges and the pressures of navigating furlough, redundancies, operating safely in a pandemic, and often, even just trying to stay afloat.
Everyone is feeling the pressure, but the good news is, employee engagement doesn’t have to be a casualty of this pandemic. All businesses go through tough times, and those that make it through can make their teams, and the business stronger than ever before.
Here are 5 tips for keeping employees engaged in tough times.
Demonstrate empathy and put the needs of your team first
Make sure that every team member knows that they have your support and that you value them. Employees who know that what they do is appreciated and how it contributes to the bigger picture are more likely to stay engaged and want to do their best.
Also, remember that it’s when you are in the trenches with your team that they will remember what kind of leader you were. This is the time for being human, not ‘the boss.’
Remember that open and honest communication is essential to keep employees engaged
Unwanted and unexpected change breeds fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, and this can seriously affect engagement. This is why open and honest communication with employees is so important. When it comes to communication;
- Employees need to know what is changing in the business and what is not going to be changing, and how the company is going to deal with the challenges it faces going forward.
- Give employees time to ask questions and answer them as truthfully as you can. If you don’t know the answer, say so, and don’t make promises you can’t keep as this can damage trust and lead to disengagement.
Make sure you listen to employees. They may be fearful and angry about what’s changed, or guilty that they survived the changes when some of their colleagues didn’t. Allow them to express how they feel and offer support and reassurance where you can.
Rally everyone behind your company values
When everyone is in survival mode, it can be easy to lose sight of your core values and the important goals the business is working towards. But rallying people behind common values is one of the most important things you can do to drive employee engagement.
If employees see the bigger picture, how their role contributes, and that there’s an inspirational end goal in sight, they are more likely to be engaged and want to pull together to help the business achieve its goals.
Offer support and feedback to drive engagement
An important part of the rebuilding and recovery process for the business is to make sure that employees are given the support and encouragement they need to move forward. Start having regular one-to-one meetings again with employees and ask what support they feel they need, what their goals are going forward, and what you can do to help them realise their goals.
Be optimistic about the future
This is where you need to be an inspirational leader. Anxiety and uncertainty about the future are rife at the moment, so it’s good to give employees a positive message.
Share your vision for the business and talk about what will be even better than before. Invite employees to contribute their ideas-this will help them feel invested in the company’s future and it will improve engagement.
Tough times will come along, but you can overcome them by intentionally working on improving and maintaining employee engagement. This is how you rally everyone behind the goal of helping the business to rebuild and not just survive, but thrive.
How is your employee engagement?
You have a good business and team, but what if they could be great?
Do you have some great ideas about how to take the business onward and upwards, but have no idea of where to start?
As The People Mentor for winning teams, I can help you identify what’s needed for the business to flourish in the coming months and beyond.
My bespoke packages of training, workshops, and support will help you build and develop the well supported, engaged, and energised teams that will supercharge your business performance and profitability.
Get in touch for a chat about exactly what’s possible.