Employee engagement is an essential factor for optimal productivity. And, during times of change or crisis, commitment and motivation need special attention to ensure the continuity and success of the organization.
Otherwise, uncertainty will generate stress, demotivation, and loss of enthusiasm for the project, which would seriously affect the employee experience and, consequently, the results of the entire organization.
On the other hand, a well-managed crisis, where we implement conscious actions to keep the engagement of team members high despite the circumstances, will not only help to retain talent, but will also improve the work environment, innovation and resilience of employees.
A 2021 Gallup study states that organizations with a high level of engagement have a 21% more productivity and 22% more profitability than those with low levels.
And another report by Willis Towers Watson found that organizations with highly engaged employees have a 44% higher loyalty rate and 28% less absenteeism than companies with low levels of commitment.
There may be times when we cannot control or prevent the arrival of a crisis – social changes, inflation, pandemics – but what we can do is manage the measures we take to deal with them.
For this reason, today we leave you with a few tips that will help you mitigate uncertainty and keep your team’s morale intact.
Strategies for Managing Employee Engagement during Uncertain Times
1. Keeping clear and effective communication
Communication is always important, but in moments of crisis, it takes on a special role.
Faced with uncertainty, leaders must transmit accurate, timely, and coherent information to their employees, keeping them up-to-date with any relevant changes that may affect their personal or work lives.
With that, we create a workspace for psychological safety, and avoid the spread of rumors that can destabilize the spirit of the team.
2. Encouraging participation in decision-making
Involving employees in decision making allows them to feel valued and heard.
To facilitate employee participation in decision-making, you can use a wide variety of resources, such as sending employee surveys, inviting them to discussion forums and open meetings, or using internal social networks.
This type of actions promotes a sense of belonging and a sense of control over the direction of the organization, helping to generate calm and reduce the negative impact of the crisis on the state of mind of employees.
3. Offering emotional support
In difficult times, it is essential that leaders show empathy and concern for the emotional well-being of their peers.
Listen to the concerns of your team members and provide them with support whenever they need it to reduce anxiety and reinforce confidence in the organization’s management. Don’t be afraid to repeat the same messages over and over again. This will reinforce the vision that the organization has a plan to overcome the crisis. Of course, do not limit yourself to just talking, you must also act!
4. Setting clear goals and objectives
Despite the uncertainty, it is crucial to set clear and realistic goals and objectives. In fact, this is especially important because it helps provide a concrete direction to focus in, helping to avoid demotivation of employees by keeping them centered on their work.
5. Training and professional development
If your company is going through a process of change, it would be interesting to invest in training and development programs.
This will not only help provide the necessary skills to adapt to new challenges, it will also show that you value your employees and care about their growth because they’re an essential part of the team. This will undoubtedly help to alleviate anxiety due to the uncertainty of business continuity and to maintain the team’s engagement to continue contributing its best talent.
6. Recognition and rewards
Last but not least, don’t forget about gratitude.
Once the critical moment has passed, it is essential to recognize and reward the effort and dedication that employees have shown to overcome the challenges and come out together.
If the budget allows it, you can do it through bonuses, promotions, incentive plans, special events to give thanks and praise them publicly, etc.
Another way to reward employees is through more vacation days, flexible hours, and facilitating work-life balance.
Maintaining employee engagement during times of uncertainty is critical to ensuring productivity and business continuity.
We hope these tips help you make a difference in your organization’s ability to overcome challenges and adapt to change. If you apply them, you will not only strengthen the organizational culture, but you will also lay the foundations for sustainable growth and long-term success.