In order to be published, comments must be on-topic and civil in tone, with no name The leveling effect of remote work may make this a good time for cross-team collaboration, assignment rotations, or peer mentorship opportunities. For our workers who have never worked from home, social isolation is deeply felt. Here are four employee engagement tips that can help your team stay connected and engaged. Acknowledge that! The circumstances of work have become more difficult. A major and multifaceted concern that emerged is how to keep employees motivated when their world is crashing around them. Furloughed or underutilized employees, especially, should be empowered to do continuing education—in things they are interested in, regardless of its apparent relevance to their jobs. Uncertainty around the pandemic itself, and its effect on industries and governments, have increased people’s comprehension and defensive drives. A former journalist, Satta holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School. With many restaurants, gyms, and other non-essential businesses closed, employees have limited outlets to relieve stress and entertain themselves outside of work. 3 Ways to Keep Employee Morale Up During COVID-19. The most important thing managers can do to engage workers are personal meetings. Ideally, this should be done at both the individual and group (organization and/or team) level. Copyright © 2018 GAF | All rights reserved. Employee engagement amidst the COVID-19 pandemic ... can do to motivate your employees and keep them engaged. Even if your strategy is still evolving, you can ease some of your employees’ fears by sharing how your company plans to move forward. Managers should continually connect their employees’ efforts to the organization’s higher-level goals. How do we help employees with work/life balance?”, “How to keep people engaged and connected and OPTIMISTIC in appropriate measure while so many have so many competing personal and business and health and family issues right now.”, “Keeping spirits high in a sales environment. If they are not able to do this they need to be having conversations with their own bosses. Employees whose contracts will end soon. At the moment, experts, educators, and entertainers are releasing a great deal of content online due to public events being cancelled. Workers who have been employed with your company for at least 30 days and can’t work because they are sick or need to care for a family member are eligible for this leave. Fifteen of the top twenty drivers of employee engagement relate directly to an employee’s direct supervisor. Thankfully, there are several online resources available to help fill this gap. At the same time, the crisis brings the opportunity to interrogate business practices. The desire to have something valuable—a well-paying job with a good title, say—is the drive to acquire. Game night? Typing is faster than writing, but not when you’re first learning. Employee Engagement During COVID-19: Using Culture to Manage Stress, Maintain Productivity. Everyone on your team can now add the line “ … during a global pandemic” to their list of job duties. Consider saying, ‘In our current world, we all have questions, few people have answers. Please give our technical team a call at 1-800-Roof-411. Providing employees with opportunities for continuing education can be highly motivating. Managers work within this system and their team members understand that they are constrained by it. You can keep your team connected by using remote work communication technologies like Zoom, Slack, or Google Hangouts. Onboarding and integrating new employees is also especially difficult. The COVID-19 pandemic has not altered these dynamics as much as it has intensified or complicated them: A big question remains. Stay calm.. Employees joining the team during the response to the coronavirus. Normalize asking for help. Animals are concerned only with “mine” and “might.” For humans, the defense drive is combined with a sense of justice or fairness. Note that we say performance, and not performers. Conduct Regular Check-Ins. While this has always been the case, widespread moves to remote work mean that individual managers are now, for many employees, the only face of the company that they interact with. These practices are possible regardless of the amount of resources available, with the possible exception of the first. On the upside, they have already built relationships and can leverage those. Many employees may avoid joining a remote session because of other family members in their home. Creating a psychologically safe environment does not mean compromising on performance. For example, if you say that everyone will be able to keep their jobs, make sure you can make that happen. All this added stress makes it challenging to keep employees engaged at work. Not every employee will feel comfortable communicating in a larger forum, so let your team know there are other outlets available where they can voice their needs. We have reduced the expectation of results but they still feel like they are losing every day. Subcultures within organizations can differ as much as organizational cultures themselves. With video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts, it's easy to keep your regular meeting schedule. This does not mean condoning unprofessionalism or abuse by any stretch—it means not putting the emotional burden on them to make you feel better about it. If possible, do one-on-one check-ins with employees via phone, email, or video conferencing. Show-and-tell of each team member’s favorite piece of art or travel souvenir? ... you can host a variety of contests to keep your employees engaged. Gifts of consumable items are actually valued these days! Inspire and show recognition with intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. Managers meet the drive to comprehend by: Do “office hours” on videoconferencing to replace the informal conversations you once had in the office. Use a video conferencing platform to hold virtual team meetings and create a workplace community. Think about creative bonding experiences—an online talent show? In times of crisis, priorities can shift quickly. Thank you for dropping by the blog. While organizational policies are the infrastructure of meeting employees’ four drives, managers implement those policies and can do so in ways that increase or decrease engagement. Managers must focus on maintaining frequent and regular connection with employees. Organizations will need creativity in the coming months and years, and the most reliable recipe for it is to collide one way of thinking or body of knowledge up against another. Make a clear distinction between mistakes and malfeasance. You could also share information about local daycare centers that are still open for essential workers, use GAF Rewards to purchase gifts or gift cards for employees, and share links to continuing education and professional development courses online. Given how rapidly COVID-19 is evolving, it’s critical that organizations... 2. The last thing you want to do is feed into the panic. On the organizational level this drive is usually met through the compensation and rewards system. This will encourage people to come forth with questions, and with observations and suggestions that might not seem important enough for a full meeting. The implication for leaders: overcommunicate, and over-reinforce boundaries and expectations. Much has been written about how to manage remote teams and encourage collegiality. Employees need more communication in times of crisis, not less. Organizations can balance these drives by allocating rewards and resources for both traditional performance and for learning activities. A major part of management is to keep these two drives in healthy balance, for example by giving rewards for both individual and team performance. When employees report even a slight enhancement in the fulfillment of any of the four drives, their overall motivation shows a corresponding improvement; however, major advances relative to other companies come from the aggregate effect on all four drives. Avoid absenteeism and apathy. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers—these... 2. At the same time, be authentic and don’t condescend. For example, gifts and services are appreciated by people more than ever before. Business School faculty. Overcommunicate. Zoom fatigue is real. Allow time to go around the room and give all employees a chance to speak. What can organizations and team leaders do to increase fulfillment of each of the four drives? Either extreme will harm the firm's performance.”. Employee Engagement; ... and encourage efforts to keep remote teams engaged and connected. To prevent the spread … Identify issues before they become a problem. Many in our industry laid off their employees, we did not.”, “How to keep executives motivated who were asked to take a 50% salary reduction. Less obviously, the drives to comprehend and to defend are also on opposite ends of the spectrum. Connect with peers through social boards, team challenges, and social recognition. Employees in Wuhan/Hubei area. People are desperate for a chance to feel in control, as if they are making a difference. "Prepare powerful presentations to keep them engaged and motivated and provide them with all possible updates through communication channels," advised Nina Krol, outreach manager at Zety. Managers who meet their teams’ bonding needs: Start meetings with a check-in or opening ritual before diving into business. The drive to defend is the desire to be known to have deserved the job and gotten it fairly, and to believe that the job will not be capriciously taken away. If that’s not enough, then consider the actions many top companies have taken during COVID-19 in order to keep employees engaged. Where some job responsibilities may have decreased or stopped entirely, new priorities have popped up to take their place. Recognize outstanding accomplishments during meetings or some other way. To some extent this is because of the balance required between two pairs of drives. Professional installers have long preferred the rugged, dependable performance that only a GAF roof can offer, and have made it the #1-selling brand in North America. We take a closer look at lessons learned through the experiences of employee engagement during COVID-19. Your comment may be edited for clarity and length. A course correction serves to hone the competitive edge (acquire), while improving understanding (comprehend), and, if it is delivered in a helpful and respectful way, strengthens the relationship between manager and employee (bond). Likewise, investments in employees’ long-term prospects via continuing education/development or ownership options may allow for a discount in pay. So be transparent with your employees about your plans and activities in this period. Sincere, informed acknowledgement of these efforts can go a long way. Best practices: Processes must be transparent and fair, and their transparency and fairness must be communicated to employees. Offer help before it is asked for. Avoid creating a system that plays favorites or denies people the opportunity to improve. Because of this, functions of leadership that may have been automatic must now be done explicitly and with intent. On the organizational level, this drive is usually satisfied through performance management and resource allocation systems. Founded in 1886, GAF has grown to become North America’s largest manufacturer of residential roofing and commercial roofing. In many states, construction companies are considered essential businesses, so a company-wide plan for protecting worker safety during the pandemic is crucial. The major issue with remote workers and motivation appears to be feeling isolated and second-class relative to the onsite workers. You can combat some of the fear and uncertainty around the pandemic by making sure your employees know what you’re doing to protect their health while they’re working. Keep employees connected to their team and to the company. Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), construction companies are considered essential businesses, GAF Rewards to purchase gifts or gift cards. Encourage sharing of best practices. Keeping employees engaged during Covid-19 requires two things: connection and recognition. During this pandemic managers may be the only witnesses of extraordinary efforts employees are making to stay focused and productive. Encourage them when necessary. Several CEOs observed: On the positive side of the spectrum, CEOs report that their teams are eager to be motivated, to find meaning at work during this crisis. Recipe contest? Remote working isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Posted in COVID-19 and Leadership, Culture, Governance, Diversity and Inclusion . There is also the issue that over the next 18 to 24 months some people will return to the office while others continue working from home; this can lead to rival subcultures. Encourage staff members to collaborate on a list of as many resources as they can find, like fitness apps with free trials, online therapy and meditation apps, food delivery apps, and credible websites with verified information about government-provided financial support. Our collective sense of stability has been shaken, and even the most confident of employees are bound to feel insecure. Please look to your managers: Do they have what they need to lead and manage? Teams that have only recently gone remote because of the pandemic have a few differences. Allow time for team members to process losses with new technology and altered ways of doing things. They still receive benefits but no wages. Hi John LEON. This may be a good time as well to “[Challenge] employees to think more broadly about how they could contribute to making a difference for coworkers, customers, and investors.”. How to Engage Employees During COVID-19 1. Set clear expectations by which performance is evaluated. The best way to increase engagement during video meetings is to start with an agenda. Not all bonding has to be in the moment. Performance may be based on factors besides the talent and motivation of the individual in question, such as job or market conditions. Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, people are guided by four basic emotional needs, How Remote Work Changes What We Think About Onboarding, What Leaders Can Do to Fight the COVID Fog, It’s Time to Reset Decision-Making in Your Organization, What the Stockdale Paradox Tells Us About Crisis Leadership, The COVID Two-Step for Leaders: Protect and Pivot, [Challenge] employees to think more broadly, Unexpected Exercise Advice for the Super Busy: Ditch the Rigid Routine, Is A/B Testing Effective? Ways we get information and reassure each other because the first is through whatever opportunities for learning problem-solving. Basic fight-or-flight response—is nonetheless complicated off-the-clock well-being is worth more than the sum of its constituent,. To improve when necessary your company – and employees – emerge stronger the... That it is acceptable to be positive in your employees about your plans and activities in period! 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