Keeping Employees Engaged and Productive in the Pandemic
The pandemic has taken a toll on many of us. We’ve been juggling work and home life, leading to fatigue for some. It’s not surprising that the number one complaint among employees is lack of sleep. This blog post will focus on how we can keep our employees engaged and productive as things start to open up and employees spend more and more of their time in the office.
In this fourth video our panelists discuss how businesses can keep employees engaged and productive as we emerge from the pandemic. To get their collective insights on this, view the video now:
Our thanks go to our expert panel members for their time and for sharing their insights so openly:
- Jenn Ryan – SVP Operations – Xometry
- Douglas Krieger – Director Global Sourcing – Herbalife
- Julie Bank – SVP Human Resources – Brighton Health Plan Solutions
- John Rorick – VP, Client Services – AgileOne
- Steve Lagnado – CFO – Insider Inc
Here are some further thoughts on the points raised during the panel discussion above.
Keep employees connected while working remotely
Making sure that employees have all the equipment they need to work from home is essential for maintaining engagement. Team video calls are key for keeping a team connected and engaged, so it is important that all members of the team can participate. Whether it is through Google Hangouts or Skype, having a way for employees to work together regardless of where they are helps them feel connected.
Having the right resources available is essential
Another key factor in keeping teams productive and engaged when working from home is making sure that there are adequate resources available to complete the assigned tasks. This means not only providing access to necessary technology but also giving team members advance notice on upcoming deadlines so that they can plan around fatigue if need be.
Invest in tools to help with productivity and collaboration
Keeping employees engaged and productive during extended periods at home takes effort on both sides – employer and employee alike. For employers, investment into virtual tools for collaboration will go a long way towards allowing workers living under fatigue conditions maintain their productivity without sacrificing engagement with the other members of their teams.
Foster a diverse and inclusive environment
As employees start to return to the office, a diverse and inclusive environment is also essential for engagement and productivity, allowing employees to fully express themselves at work will only benefit the company.
Employers should also consider the fatigue factor for employees who are returning to work after extended periods at home, giving them time off as needed will be key in maintaining engagement levels throughout the coming months. Employees that feel exhausted and overworked tend to lack motivation which can lead to both fatigue and disengagement all around.
Make employee morale a priority
As we come to the end of the hardship of the pandemic, it is essential for employers to make the most out of small happy things to boost morale. Employees who feel as though their work is valued and recognized are more likely to be engaged as well as productive.
Providing a flexible schedule, one that does not depend on face-to-face communication but instead allows employees the freedom they need for fatigue management will help make sure everyone stays engaged throughout the day no matter where in time or space it takes place. Free-time, social events and team newsletters all have a place in the office now – making the most of the happy parts of life is key to preventing employee burnout.
Give your workforce time to adjust
With this return to the office environment, expectations about productivity may have to be slightly lowered to prevent stress amongst a team. Working in the office means commute times and longer lunch breaks have to be factored into an employee’s workload.
Employees who have been working from home for months may also need time to adjust to the office environment, giving them a chance to work out kinks in their fatigue management without fear of being fired is key.
Keeping employees engaged and productive during this transition period will be an ongoing task but it can absolutely be done with enough effort from both sides. Maintaining open lines of communication between employers and workers alike will go a long way towards maintaining morale throughout these times. A plan for how each team member plans on making up lost productivity (in advance) if they’ve missed deadlines due to fatigue or illness should help ensure that everyone is able to make up any deficit caused by the pandemic – keeping engagement levels high as well as stress levels low.