With global white-collar workforces still working from home as the third wave of the pandemic underway, the COVID slide is to blame for their lack of engagement. This can be remedied, minimized, or even avoided by taking a few simple steps.
Parents would have probably heard of the summer slide. A summer slide or slump is generally referred to in the education sector and refers to students losing some of their flare for achievements when compared to the previous year thanks to the laid back nature that comes with the onslaught of the summer holidays. It takes a bit of a push to get back into the focus required to study hard and get good grades. Like school, similar situations occur in the workplace, generally when employees take time off for longer than a couple of days. The longer the holiday the longer the slide and the tougher it is to get back on track.
In today’s world, COVID-19 has caused quite a shift in the work environment and for the employees that weren’t laid off, they got used to working from home. An employee’s home environment is very different from the office. There is optimal comfort, convenience, and flexibility. As COVID-19’s third wave hits America, the COVID slide is inevitable.
Employees will not be as engaged as they were before the pandemic and companies need to take extra steps to avoid the extensive damages that come with the slide and try to shorten the length of time the slide will go on for.
Here are a few engagement tactics to consider to alleviate the COVID slump:
- Revamp and Refresh
- Simply Send a Survey
- Work on the Forgotten Projects
- Create More, Do Less
- Think New Era, New Ideas
One of the best ways to get people interested in something, is by revamping the brand look with a fresh pair of outside eyes. A revamp can be done internally, however it’s always better to get a fresh perspective from someone outside the box. Revamp the company social handles, redo the website, change some employee policies, or even certain procedures. Change brings intrigue and interest. Whatever the changes are, make some noise. Create a build-up to get your employees interested.
One of the simplest and most effective ways to understand your employees’ mindsets is by sending them a survey. Show them that you care and would like to do what you can to get them engaged and refocused on the company mission. Ask them what they need to re-engage. Your employees responding to the survey is your first step back into getting them engaged and you’ll get honest feedback on what they expect from their employer.
When it comes to prioritizing work, it is very easy to put certain less important projects on the back burner and then eventually forget about them. Now is the perfect time to get going on all those long lost projects. It’s very easy to work on regular day-to-day or more important projects but it takes a bit more effort to get the less important ones done and because of this less effort is put into them. By getting your employees to focus on those projects they will have to spend more time trying to focus on something they wouldn’t generally focus on. This should reignite some of their drives to work from the pre-pandemic era.
Instead of trying to come up with ideas for engagement activities; consider focusing more on writing and creating more educational material. With all this time spent at home, there is no guarantee that employees are staying updated on the company, trends, industry information, and more. It is a well-known fact that one of the major traits of a successful person is that he/she reads… a lot. Give your employees things to read, educate them. The more a person reads the more they will be interested in the subjects or related topics. Give them things to talk about and discuss, it’s human nature to talk about new things they learned or share opinions on things they read about so give them the ammo. It would be a great idea to create videos too. Many read while others respond better to watching videos in order to absorb knowledge. Give them a platform to share their opinions and discuss them. Write as much content as you can and spend more effort in distributing it throughout the organization and making it accessible to every employee.
We’ve entered a new world mid-pandemic. Many things are being during the quarantine periods and a lot of new ideas have been developed. Instead of trying to stay productive with the old routines and not wanting to change, take initiative to pursue all the ideas you left on the backburner. Hold brainstorming sessions on how those ideas can be put into action. Create new teams and solutions to get people intrigued and excited for what is to come in the future.
It’s safe to say that the pandemic isn’t going anywhere any time soon. This gives organizations time to create a re-engagement strategy for employees to get them refocused and realigned to the company objectives and goals. Start re-engaging now and build the excitement of coming back to work post-pandemic.
With the times changing, we must change with them. Trying to focus on the old way of working will not engage employees new or old. Engage with change and you will see your entire employee population respond, and get excited. Avoid the COVID slide by re-engaging the way they do in the new era.