During this pandemic, people keep hearing that “we’re all in this together.” Do your employees really think that’s true? Don’t assume that people have adapted to the new world of work just because they are functioning and doing their jobs. Take some time to prioritize engagement. Here are a few key steps:
- Connect virtually at all levels. Team members need to hear directly from their leaders, and they need a chance to ask questions and express concerns and make suggestions. Hold regular teleconferences or phone calls, send video messages via email, and make yourself accessible via phone or email.
- Be innovative about engagement activities. Since employees can’t gather in person, think of ways to promote engagement and camaraderie. Some companies have started virtual happy hours and coffee breaks. Consider having a employees-only website where workers can share photos of themselves, their families, and/or pets with each other. Celebrate successes and give employees a way to honor and recognize their colleagues for outstanding work and contributions.
- Provide resources/answers. Consider creating a site or webpage with links to reliable sources of information, tips for parents with kids at home and/or family caregivers, and dos and don’ts of running a virtual meeting. Make it interactive if possible and give employees a way to connect with each other, such as a listserv.
- Leverage the expertise of your teams.
- Be flexible and agile.
- Communicate often and consistently.
- Be a good corporate citizen (find ways for people to volunteer and help the company and the community).