Over the past 9 weeks I have had the pleasure of reaching out to lots of clients, past and new, to have really authentic and in depth conversations.  

What has been a real benefit to come out of the current situation is that our chats have been far wider than normal as we talk about more than just recruitment and staffing but the impact that lockdown has had on our everyday lives.  

Naturally we do discuss how this is affecting our people and one concern that is becoming increasingly common is maintaining our teams’ engagement as they spend longer remote working. 

What do I mean by “employee engagement”? I am not purely talking about employee satisfaction.

 A person may be satisfied with their employer, their package overall but are they truly engaged with their role and adding the best possible value, day in, day out?   

Do they feel they are totally fulfilled and in turn are you getting the best out of each individual?

Being at home for a long period of time, without the day to day interaction with colleagues, has left them with nothing else to focus on but the task in hand.  

They may have found themselves evaluating whether they really enjoy what they’re doing and likewise you may have uncovered that their productivity in their role is not what you would expect. 

Key factors to employee engagement

We all want actively engaged employees but what does this mean? How do we ensure we are encouraging our employees across the board as opposed to their achievable measurables?

Here are the key factors to consider;

  • How are employees led / managed. Are they made to feel valued, empowered, listened to?
  • The values of a business and do they meet with the employee’s own values and beliefs?
  • The values of the role itself.  Is the role actively in tune with what is important to the employee?
  • Communication.  Is it open, regular, meaningful?

Having your team working remotely has created barriers to communication in certain respects but it has also held a magnifying glass to each individual and how they think, feel and possibly work. 

I have heard “it’s the people I thought that would react best, have found it the hardest” quite regularly. 

Where do we go with this information?  

How we bounce back from this situation depends heavily on the readiness of your team to adapt and respond to a challenging market.  It is imperative that we uncover the strengths and weaknesses of the people we have and also identify any gaps.

The first two activities I would highly recommend to carry out as a manager to effectively make this evaluation would be;

  •  Uncover the true values of each individual and find out what is important to them about their role.  Do this one on one and this can be done effectively via zoom.  Don’t talk – just ask the questions and really listen. 
  • Ask your team to look at what activities they are doing daily and ask them to evaluate which they find the most enjoyment in.  This will enable you to discover what sort of work brings the best out in your team and you never know, it may go against what you have assumed.

Once you have this information, look at the roles they are fulfilling for you and ask yourself; do these roles fit with what they want and enjoy?  

Do you think their jobs are supporting their values and do you think they feel motivated to give their absolute best?

These exercises are absolutely invaluable in the art of improving employee engagement and I have witnessed first hand in my own team a complete transformation when the person is in the right role for them and not just in any role to fill a space.

For help and advice on employee engagement or support with recruitment in general, we’re here with you so please do get in touch.