Keeping your high- potential, high performing employees engaged can be challenging, but also extremely meaningful now and for the future. The research shows that highly engaged employees, drive highly engaged customers/business relationships, driving greater profits. There is fear in the workplace today and when we are afraid our brain’s chemistry changes, so our employees cannot do their best work and are less engaged. It is the responsibility of leadership to help and eliminate as much fear as possible, benefiting our employees and the company. Ten opportunities to consider…
1. Frequent, honest and authentic communication is a requirement not just a nice-to-have.
2. Videos from leaders are a way to show compassion, support and have a little fun, as long as they are genuine and authentic.
3. Develop a means for leaders to be able to listen during this time. Instead of just pushing out information, bring in information that can lead the conversation. This can be accomplished by survey tools or face-to-face meetings or zoom calls, if your associates feel comfortable sharing in this forum.
4. Recognition – If you have a formal or informal recognition program, promote the heck out of it at this time. Highlight successes, share accolades, promote peer-to-peer recognition and definitely manager-to-associate recognition. During this time people everywhere have been impacted by COVID 19 and we are seeing many opportunities to pay it forward, to help those in need. Showcase the examples of your associates giving back to others.
5. This is a great time to review your Purpose Statement and Core Values – the big lofty reason you come to work and how you behave/live. There are great exercises that can involve your employees in re-engineering the heartbeat of your organization.
6. Send ecards or hand-written cards to your associates, thanking them for their commitment and dedication during this time.
7. Give mental health days outside of the allotted PTO. This creates a spirit of reciprocity; you will be amazed at how others will step in to help when they know that they are assisting another associate in need.
8. Always send anniversary cards & birthday cards, either mailed or electronic.
9. Show true concern for the wellbeing of your associates. If you do have employees working from home, be cognizant that screen fatigue is a real thing, have a gray period during the day where your associates can care for their families, take a walk, exercise. (Example from 12:00pm – 2:00pm you will not call meetings; this is the gray period). Be as flexible as you can with time. People need a life balance – and yes work is part of this, but while your associates are at home, work is now encroaching more and more on this balance.
10. Managers should have daily, live, touch point meetings with their employees. When a team has the opportunity to look eye-to-eye with each other, it can build empathy, which builds trust. At the end of the day “People Work with People They Like and Trust.”