3 Ways to Engage Employees in Times of Uncertainty
Updated: Mar 21
Any organisation, no matter where in the world, is bound to encounter uncertainty - be it a global health crisis, economic crisis, or natural calamity. As COVID-19 continues to disrupt businesses, employees will also feel the looming insecurity brought about by the instability their company faces.
As managers, you may hear questions from your employees such as:
"Is my job secure?"
“What will happen to my benefits?”
“Is the company stable enough to continue its operations this year?”
“What if I get laid off?”
These uncertainties may result in employee disengagement, which is a problem as the last thing businesses want is key players to lose their motivation during difficult times.
In fact, the opposite is true — businesses need their employees’ commitment more than ever so that the business can keep operating.
To avoid these, it is important that managers and HR leaders be at the frontline to reassure as well as motivate employees.
How exactly can you encourage and strengthen your team’s morale?
Below are some recommendations to boost optimism and focus during these trying times.
Be Open and Transparent with Communication
As a leader, this should be a matter of great importance.
Do not keep your employees in the dark. Be transparent with them on any updates as it helps build trust and respect, for both you and for the organisation itself.
This doesn’t mean you have to tell them every single thing about your organisation’s situation.
Instead, share what you can and explain why you can’t share other details.
Explain how the situation will impact the business, what changes are to be expected, what plans are put in place to adapt to the changing times, and how it will impact them as an employee altogether. It is important to cover the points your employees are most concerned about.
You should also be sure to reach out and communicate often. You can do this by sending your team emails letting them know you understand how stressful the situation is, and that the business is ready to offer support.
It is also helpful to have one-on-one check-ins with employees to discuss their most pressing issues and how you, as a manager, can help.
If there’s a concern you’re not able to address, it’s certainly okay to admit that you don’t know everything, or what the future might hold. But keeping your doors open for your employees shows that you value them enough to keep them updated, and are available to speak with them whenever necessary.
Most importantly, don’t communicate with a message of “this is how we’re going to survive this” but more on the message of “here’s what we’re going to do as a team to come out strong”.
Empower and Motivate Employees
As you determine steps you and your team will take to overcome these challenges, it is important to circle back to your team’s baseline goals.
Not only will these drive your business decisions as a team, it helps your team to have a clear direction in mind as well. When goals are aligned, the team is more likely to achieve success, which increases employee morale and job satisfaction.
Moreover, know that your words are powerful. You can empower your team by making them feel that their efforts matter, most especially during this time.
When employees feel that they are doing something bigger than themselves, they will continue to stay motivated, productive, and efficient! So find reasons to celebrate, it doesn’t matter how big or small the achievement is.
You can also reward good work and challenge them to be innovative. Make sure that the recognition is visible across team members or your organisation.
Another way to empower them is by allowing them to have flexible work schedules. It’s okay to discontinue methods or policies like working 9-5 or they do not really work during the pandemic.
This will give your employees more control over their own schedules. Being able to create their own work-life balance makes employees happier, ultimately boosting their productivity at work.
Just be sure to acquire a tool that allows employees to perform tasks remotely. For example, Adaptive Pay has online modules for leave application or claims submissions. This allows your employees to submit the necessary requests from wherever they are, without having to go into the office!
Leverage on Technology
Many companies have created work-from-home policies and implemented systems or softwares to help their employees work remotely.
Thus, it is imperative to use tech tools to help maintain productivity, engagement, and compliance.
According to a study, a mobile-first strategy saw a boost in employee engagement, specifically in productivity, creativity, and loyalty.
Having a mobile-first mindset will ensure that you are addressing the needs of your employees as they work remotely. This includes ensuring that employees are equipped with the right tools and information outside of the office. It also allows for 1-on-1 check-ins digitally.
If you’re not sure how to digitise your business processes, start with HR tasks that every employee needs.
Adaptive Pay provides a fully integrated HR workflow, so your team can approve leaves and claims easily, do payroll processing faster, and track attendance online!
Contact us for a free demo today!