With teams across the country working from home rather than in the office, it may seem more challenging to keep employees engaged than it ever has before. Our employees are working in conditions they aren’t used to while dealing with stress, fear, and uncertainty. Leaders need to be aware of these facts and keep employee engagement a top priority. After all, engaged employees are more productive, more loyal, and much less likely to leave their jobs.
Here are some practical tips you can use to keep your employees engaged during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Be compassionate
First and foremost, compassion must be the core of our leadership through this crisis. We need to be humans before coworkers. Before anything else, we should be listening to and empathizing with our employees. Be genuine, honest, and professional. Ask how you can support them. If they provide ideas, do your best to see them through. If your employees know that you care about them — genuinely care about them — they will be more likely to work hard and remain engaged during this time.
- Communicate often
Second, to keep employees engaged, we must be communicating with them frequently while they are working from home. Check in with each team member individually at least once a week. You can also schedule a weekly team meeting to keep employees feeling connected to one another. No matter what systems you decide to put in place, don’t overlook the importance of communication, even if it isn’t necessarily required to get work done. If you don’t communicate regularly, your teams might feel as if you don’t care, and they may begin to become disengaged.
- Send out regular updates
Third, leaders in their organizations should be regularly updating their employees on the state of the business. Many people are afraid of losing their jobs right now. Whether or not that fear is justified in your company, your employees deserve to be informed. If your organization has taken a hit, be truthful and transparent about it and if your business hasn’t been affected, share that information as well. Your employees will be more engaged if they feel confident that they know where the company stands.
You might notice that all of these tips revolve around communication. That’s because, in this time of social distancing, communication and connection have never been more crucial. Stay strong, communicate frequently, and we will all get through this together.