Engaging with employees in times of crisis

Since the World Health Organisation declared Covid-19 a global pandemic earlier this month, work and personal lives have been greatly disrupted by the crisis. Mental, physical and emotional distress has arisen as the virus sends a shock throughout society. Presented with newfound challenges such as working from home while prioritising the health and wellbeing of themselves and their loved ones, employees are at the centre of this disruption. In the face of it all, it is perhaps more important than ever for employers to engage with their employees, ensuring any concerns are addressed to restore certainty in an uncertain time for both employees and businesses alike.

Engage your people

Despite the newfound challenges presented to businesses and their people, the ‘how to’ of engaging with employees remains the same as ever. People need to feel valued and respected by their organisation as well as see themselves as a part of its future. Leaders are to instil confidence within the business in order to ensure trust and stability, allowing its people to engage with the goals and future objectives of the organisation.

However, due to the nature of the outbreak, health and wellbeing must be at the forefront of engagement policy. Leader’s must show humanity and understanding by recognising the needs of employees to ensure their safety. This may be achieved through implementing work-from-home policies or by making sure employees have access to adequate resources, allowing them to get the job done both effectively and safely. Throughout all these measures, effective two-way communication between colleagues is paramount and can make or break engagement outcomes.  

Tools for engagement

For many of an organisation’s workforce, remote working may be an alien concept, especially in times of distress. However, through confident leadership and the use of technology, communication can lead to sustained collaboration between teams as well as supporting the mental wellbeing of an organisation’s people and embedding resilience within an organisation.

  • Continue conversations. Not being face to face with your line manager or colleague doesn’t have to spell the end of that ‘water-cooler’ conversation you were having last week. Through embracing technology such as video calling via Skype or through a simple telephone call, conversations can continue ensuring consistency while maintaining working relationships. 
  • Collaborate… remotely. A new wave of dedicated communication platforms has taken the remote working world by storm. With the use of Microsoft Teams or Slack, employees are able to continue to collaborate, share knowledge and ultimately grow the business.
  • Realising your employee’s potential. As always, an employee’s learning and development opportunities are essential for their engagement. Services such as LinkedIn learning may be your friend here, allowing employees to develop new skills remotely and return to the office stronger than ever!
  • Engage in employee feedback. Two-way conversations between leadership teams and employees can build resilience into an organisation. When listened to, feedback allows businesses to adapt accordingly to their workforce’s needs while making employees feel valued.

To learn more about how we help organisations keep lines of communication and feedback open during times of difficulty and struggle, call us on 01255 870735 or email us at info@surveyinitiative.co.uk.