Some might say that the unprecedented has already come to pass, yet global instability is still the norm amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite this, companies still have to find ways to maintain productivity.
A recent survey by global analytics firm Gallup shows that work units that score the highest on employee engagement show 17 percent higher productivity. That makes employee engagement one of the central elements of workplace efficiency. It is what drives growth, profit, and increased retention rates.
Despite employee engagement hitting a record high last May, 85 percent of employees are disengaged. Lack of feedback and not being familiar with the company’s values, goals, and tactics are among the most frequent reasons why workers are not highly involved at work.
A Mental Health Index survey found that four in ten employees feel less motivated to work since the pandemic started. They find it hard to balance their job with leisure, social contact, and exploration, and the changes in physical work result in ongoing strain.
Employers should seek an approach to maximize employee engagement, productivity, and motivation. Here are the most effective strategies to do that.
1. REINFORCE TRANSPARENCY
Times of crisis are the worst periods to keep employees in the dark and wondering about their future. According to recent research, 55 percent of workers are worried about their job security. The pandemic leaves employees with feelings of uncertainty, and they need their leaders to keep them in the loop. But only 35 percent of staff believe that their organization has the resilience to withstand the crisis.
Try not to keep your plans, activities, and goals a secret. Be transparent about the state of the company even if things aren’t going as smoothly as expected. If you know that not everyone will keep their job, be upfront about it because, sooner or later, they will find out. It is better if everyone is ready for what’s coming.
Ensure that you send daily or weekly updates because only 55 percent of workers indicate that their company provides them with regular notifications. Otherwise, you could instill distrust and lack of support because your employees don’t know what to expect from you.
Employees will be more engaged if they feel a sense of job security and that they can trust you. Use communication channels to keep everyone informed, send newsletters, and regular emails.
2. EMPHASIZE COMPANY CULTURE AND VALUES
Most organizations know that an immersive, well-established, and stable company culture is essential for a successful business. Yet, many fail to leverage it to boost employee motivation. A positive work culture increases employee engagement, productivity, and revenue.
Emphasize the core values, mission, and goals of your company. That should be one of the principal reasons why your employees decided to work for you after all. Remind them what motivated them to apply for their job position and why they wanted it so much.
When employees feel a connection with their workplace, they will be more devoted and immersed in work. Use all the benefits of your work culture to revive their passion. That might help them to navigate the crisis with more ease and find solace in their job.
If you expect commitment from your staff, you need to lead by example. Show your commitment to your company values and that you uphold them despite the changes the pandemic brought into our lives.
3. FEEDBACK MATTERS
One can continuously give their best at work and be highly-performing, but if they don’t know whether their managers like their results, self-doubt might arise. For instance, five percent of workers don’t think their contributions make a difference.
Employees need validation, and they should know when their work is contributing to change. Otherwise, they could think their managers don’t appreciate them, which might result in a lack of motivation.
Never underestimate the power of feedback because 43 percent of highly engaged employees receive performance evaluations at least once a week. Assessments are especially significant when experiencing changes, such as shifting from on-site to remote work. Ensure that you have regular mechanisms that provide workers with feedback and allow them to express their observations.
Many employers use solely annual employee satisfaction surveys, but that doesn’t allow them to act on time and improve.
4. INTRODUCE FREQUENT SURVEYS
Even though it’s been ten months, the pandemic is still unknown territory, and we learn as we go. You shouldn’t rely on previous experiences, and you should check up on your staff and assess their emotions, concerns, and needs.
Consider designing a survey regarding COVID-19 sentiments and uncover whether your employees think you are handling the crisis well and how you can help them be better at work. They will acknowledge that you care about their opinion and that you are willing to provide them with what they need.
Create questionnaires that will give you insights into how the pandemic affects employee motivation, productivity, and well-being. Try not to overwhelm them with questions and focus on particular topics, which you can do by sharing pulse surveys.
One-on-one and small group interviews are efficient ways for starting a conversation and encourages a sense of belonging. Feeling a connection to the workplace is beneficial for employee engagement because it reminds them that what they do matters.
HANDLE THE CRISIS BY SHOWING THAT YOU’RE IN CONTROL AND THAT YOU CARE
These are trying times, but it is in these moments when we show our strength, strategic capacities, and will. Employees need to see that their organization can navigate a crisis while still addressing their needs. It will remind them that they’re part of a stable workplace and their work is appreciated and rewarded.
If you want to maximize employee engagement, motivation, and productivity, you have to give them reasons to be devoted and involved at work. Emphasize your leadership skills, show you care, and foster transparency to show that you can manage difficulties and maintain a resilient workplace.