The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is coming to an end in most countries. Although the consequences are still vague, there is a clear difference between pre and post coronavirus in the business world. Uncertainty surrounds the global economy and industry. As most companies reopen, employers have started adapting to profound changes and preparing ahead because the worst is yet to come. It is impossible to even imagine let alone predict what the industry will look like in the post-pandemic world. Still, some signs are telling us which direction the whole situation might go. Based on them, HR managers can readjust their employee engagement strategies and come out of the crisis stronger than ever before.
Information is Power
Since circumstances and conditions quickly change, information truly is power. Now more than ever before, your employees have to be timely informed. They need to have the right and reliable information at any moment if you want them to solve problems and make decisions. Without sharing data and knowledge, you are gambling with your company’s future. Therefore, you have to communicate, either face to face or through some employee app, like an intranet. Moreover, encourage your team members to share too instead of keeping relevant pieces of information to themselves. This not only prevents departmental silos but also allows them to engage in the work environment. When you have open and clear information and communication flow, there’s nothing for you to worry about.
How you can successfully pass to the post-COVID-19 world largely depends on your employees’ and customers’ locations. For example, if your employees work remotely from different parts of the world, you have to know where they are currently. Based on this piece of information, you can check what the situation is in that country or region and how remote workers are feeling mentally. Their location might be a hot spot so isolation, lockdowns, and quarantine might still be their daily routine. The situation might take a serious toll on their health and performance. Having the support and a safety net at work will become more important than before in the post-pandemic world. This is why you have to regularly check in with your employees. Encourage them to organize online coffee breaks, happy hours, or any other bonding activities.
Socialization is Imperative
Many companies are using this transitional period to reevaluate their corporate cultures, missions, visions, and values. This is the right time to change them in whichever direction they want. Chances are your employees have been working remotely for months and it’s probably going to stay like that little bit longer. All this time they have been socially distant which might have negatively affected their productivity and engagement. In the post-pandemic world, socialization will become imperative. Reserving some time during the workday to chat and bond with coworkers will bring so much good to your employees. It will help them blow off some steam, get to know each other, and grow as a team. After interacting with colleagues, your employees will be more relaxed and focused on their work assignments. For this reason, you can start fostering a welcoming and friendly culture to lift everyone’s’ spirits.
No Room for One-way Communication
Now is the time to stop enforcing one-way communication once and for all. The only way to keep your employees engaged is by encouraging two-way communication. They have to be able to give and receive feedback, messages, and any information. Make it a policy and start implementing it at all levels. This way you will make sure everyone in the company communicates efficiently. Listening and responding are necessary if you want your business to survive the crisis and stay ahead of the competitors in the future. No matter how insignificant a piece of information you think is, share it with everyone. You never know which employee might need it. You can make use of modern technology to help you deliver the message clearly to the targeted group.
Virtual workplaces challenge leadership and management skills. It doesn’t seem like your job will be getting any easier in the new normal. You will have to work hard and come up with creative ways to engage your employees. They easily lose focus, motivation, and engagement. To motivate and engage them, you will have to lead efficiently. This means openly communicating and setting clear and achievable goals and expectations. Assigning tasks to employees and giving them something to work towards keeps them focused and engaged. They work hard to reach the set goals and meet deadlines. You can also allow them to work independently within clearly defined boundaries. This method will not only bring them out of their comfort zone but also make them more adaptable. Since the post-pandemic world is full of uncertainty, your business will need your employees to adjust quickly.
Lena Hemsworth is a writer, enthusiast and loves to read a good book. She believes that there is nothing better than starting your day with a hot cup of coffee.