COVID-19 Employee Engagement Strategies
The COVID-19 pandemic has altered all aspects of the normal that was once known and celebrated. No field of business, healthcare system, economic development or educational departments have escaped the wrath of the virus. However, the pandemic has not only created a temporary shift in the mundane tasks of everyday life but has remodelled every detail to birth a new world. This world’s rules are unclear, but there is only one motive – to escape the pandemic.
Nearing the end of the first wave, it seemed as though the office life would begin to return to normal. But as if the thought itself had triggered a paradox, the number of cases reported starting to increase. And with increase came another wave of unemployment, reduced productivity and morale, and shattering mental health. To battle the given circumstances, while overcoming the economic slump, some etiquettes and approaches can be used to nip the problem in the butt.
The following factors are to be considered when drawing a map to a prosperous business through an employee engagement strategy:
In times of chaos and uncertainty in the workplace, anxieties and fear of lay-offs are high. The business’s primary focus should be on regulating negative emotions and promoting emotional intelligence by way of workshops or in-house therapy. Further, the company can benefit the employees by offering training and seminars on stress reduction and conflict resolution. By keeping regular tabs on the emotional health of its employees, the business can ensure that employees bring their best foot forward. Given the turbulent times, the companies need to acknowledge the traumas and grief of its employees head-on.
Working from home is not all roses. It has its drawbacks like all other systems. While businesses often ignore these drawbacks, they tend to have a lasting impact on the employee’s mental health and sometimes even physical health. As predictions of the second wave of COVID-19 circulate, it becomes evident that working in a cubicle or other confined places is a thing of the past. The employees may continue to work from home, some part of the week, if not all seven days. Therefore, it falls on the company’s shoulders to ensure that its employees maintain a healthy work-life balance by promoting strict business hours. The employees should be encouraged to create boundaries between their workspace and home to not feel consumed with their duties to the company, which eventually leads to high levels of stress.
Another hindrance created by the pandemic is the requirement of complete isolation. With mass hysteria at its peak, people’s mental health is already suffering, further adding fuel to the fire, isolation deteriorates social behaviors. Thus, by promoting a culture of collaborative and group work, the company essentially introduces engagement with peers. Working towards a defined, common goal gives rise to teamwork and boosts the morale of its employees.
The traditional workplace for long has been a culture strictly following hierarchy; however, our current world’s given changes require a shift in the system. First and foremost, employees and managers must develop a relationship of open communication, transparency and conversations that casually move back and forth. In the absence of physical contact, direct and clear communication are imperative. Furthermore, instead of providing feedback on a yearly or half-yearly basis, they can be made more common. Through feedback, managers will communicate goals that the company aims to work towards and limit any doubts arising due to distance or lack of physical communication. It can also be a great way to keep a check on the mental health of the employees.
As the theory of evolution believes, only the strongest survive for they can adapt to changing conditions. The same can be applied to the changing structure of conducting business in a COVID-19 ridden world. There is no guarantee regarding a company’s status as the years pass; however, by building a team of confident and devoted employees, at least the company can ensure prosperity and growth from within. Further, a company exists on the basis of its employees; therefore, it’s the company’s duty to fend for its employees in these trying times.