What All Employers Need to Do to Drive Employee Engagement

Organizations today need to make significant adjustments in their business approach, especially during and after the COVID 19 pandemic. They would need to look at better ways to engage employees during this challenging time. The impact of the pandemic is going to last for a long time and maintaining healthy relationships is going to be the key to success.

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Employees could be struggling with mixed feelings of uncertainty and seclusion owing to a complete disconnect from the organization. While offering incentives and salaries may be a source of motivation however it isn’t the only medium to drive employee engagement.

Employee engagement is more about fostering relationships and understanding employee feelings. There should be an emotional bonding between the company and the employee. It’s the extent to which you can motivate them and see how passionate they feel about the employer and the company and how much quality time they can invest in their work. More engaged employees would be observed as hard workers and the ones committed may stay for longer periods.

Nowadays, employees wish to feel motivated and that is how they tend to contribute in a meaningful way. One great way to achieve this is by monitoring the work culture and ensuring it stays healthy and lively all the time. Even when employees work remotely or if the future looks grim then what possible way is to get the best out of them? It’s time that you had asked yourself that how could you possibly drive employee engagement during challenging times? Here are a few ways that you may want to adopt:

  1. Be honest and transparent in everything you do

It is no surprise if your employees are feeling insecure or uncertain about their job especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. About a third of the employee strength may have the resilience to manage such circumstances while others would be shrouded with questions. By keeping employees in the loop, you can effectively drive employee engagement. So, the best way forward is to maintain transparency about your plans and activities.

As far as possible, try to sound positive in all aspects of communication but never over-commit. For instance, if you have promised that everyone will be able to keep their jobs, then ensure that it happens. And in the worst-case scenario, try not to keep anyone in the dark or allow the person to feel sidelined. Instead, bring employees up to date and engage with them frequently. Popular mediums of engagement would include a company newsletter, an internal podcast, a letter from the CEO, and intranet websites.

  1. Allow continuous feedback

By allowing constructive feedback, you are allowing the employee to become more productive. This holds even more significance during the Covid19 pandemic where people are mostly working from home. It is always great to have a structure put in place, which would offer a conducive platform for constructive feedback. For instance, virtual one-on-one meetings and/or facilitating open conversations within the same team or with different departments. 

At the same time, be prepared to receive feedback from your employees as well. Feedback works well if it is two-way. Look out for opportunities to create channels for communications, where employees can raise issues or concerns without hesitation or fear. It is not a great idea to just rely on annual satisfaction surveys to receive any kind of feedback. If you wait for an entire year to pass by then you are sure to miss on golden opportunities.

  1. Engage employees through fun-filled activities

Whether your employees are meeting physically or virtually, a little bit of fun can ensure good employee engagement. If you have decided that the employees of your organization should work from home then you can still have them engaged through activities like ‘virtual coffee break’. During the session try to encourage each team member to stop their work and join on a video call with a cup of coffee or tea a couple of times a week. During the session, you can discuss anything of common interest and continue the session later in the week. 

You can also take the liberty to remotely organize a yoga session, quizzes, and games at home or enjoy birthday celebrations. Encourage training and development sessions online and see the kind of difference you can make when it comes to building employer and employee relationships. 

  1. Celebrate victories and recognize key performers

During times of uncertainty, your employees are putting in their best to ensure both productivity and quality are meeting met. It is essential that you should recognize their efforts and accomplishment. Why not celebrate small victories especially when milestones are met. Drive employee engagement by making small announcements or sharing digital certificates as a token of appreciation. You can even offer small bonuses or rewards and recognitions for a good job done.

Consider rewarding top performers by giving away small prizes or by offering a team-paid lunch. See whatever best fits into your budget and then have that carried out.

Finally, blow the trumpet by celebrating victories across the organization. Praise people by sending messages via notice boards or emails. 

  1. Demonstrate what a wonderful place you are to work at

You may not feel that this is the right time to do so but demonstrating your social and corporate responsibilities by showing your employees how much you care will help you stand out from the crowd. This will not help you just now but the impact could be seen in the future too.

This is a good way to enhance your reputation that your company is socially responsible and in the coming years, your organization may be recognized as a great place to work at. You could be a preferred employer in your line of business for many.

Your reputation may also place you in the driver’s seat where you would be recognized by various clients and customers. Your company may be valued for its brand and as a result, you may see significant growth in your business.

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Gaurav Sabharwal


Gaurav is the CEO of JOP (Joy of Performing), an OKR and high-performance enabling platform. With almost two decades of experience in building businesses, he knows what it takes to enable high performance within a team and engage them in the business. He supports organizations globally by becoming their growth partner and helping them build high-performing teams by tackling issues like lack of focus, unclear goals, unaligned teams, lack of funding, no continuous improvement framework, etc. He is a Certified OKR Coach and loves to share helpful resources and address common organizational challenges to help drive team performance. Read More

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