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    Employee Engagement and Retention

    8 Best Tips To Increase Employee Engagement During Tough Times

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    Ethan Israel
    February 5, 2022
    5 min read
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    Throughout the United States, employee engagement currently sits at a mere 40 percent. That means a whopping 60 percent of workers are just going through the motions. Yikes!

    During difficult times, it’s particularly common for employee engagement rates to go down. If you’ve noticed that your employees are less motivated than usual, here are 8 tips you can implement today to turn things around.

    1. Practice Clear Communication

    During tough times, when your employees are struggling with their engagement, you must practice clear communication.

    Talk to your workers about what’s going on in the world and how it might be affecting the business as a whole. There’s no need to fear monger, but you also shouldn’t keep people in the dark.

    There are lots of ways to make sure your employees stay in the loop. Hold regular team meetings, for example, either in-person or via video chat. You can also send email updates and newsletters every week too.

    Don’t forget, good communication can increase employee retention rates.

    Clear communication helps employees to feel valued, motivated, and satisfied with their jobs. This boosts their morale and encourages them to stick around long-term, through thick and thin.

    2. Provide Individual Attention

    It’s great to talk to your employees as a group. However, make sure you’re also not neglecting one-on-one meetings.

    One-on-one meetings show employees that you value them as individuals. They create opportunities for shy or introverted employees to speak up, too.

    Some people might not feel comfortable sharing concerns or asking questions during a meeting with all of their colleagues. However, they may be more willing to address them when they meet with just you.

    Remember, the more you know about how your employees are doing, the easier it is for you to make adjustments to accommodate them, increase their engagement, and keep them around.

    3. Be Flexible

    Sometimes, being flexible is the best way to support your employees when they’re struggling.

    If life is tough and your employees are having a hard time juggling everything, for example, you can give them the option to work from home. You could also adjust their schedule so that it’s easier for them to take care of things before they arrive at the office.

    Being flexible and accommodating your employees will help them to be more engaged and productive. They’ll be less distracted and, as a result, will be able to do better work and do it more efficiently.

    4. Offer Praise Publicly and Privately

    When it comes to supporting your employees’ career development, make sure you’re offering praise both publicly and privately.

    Research shows that 63 percent of employees who receive recognition for their efforts either “usually” or “always” are “very unlikely” to search for a new job within the next 3-6 months. At the same time, only 11 percent of employees who “rarely” or “never” receive recognition feel the same.

    During difficult situations, especially, employees need to know that they’re appreciated.

    You can recognize them during team meetings or in the employee newsletter, or you can offer praise during one-on-one meetings. Some employees might not feel comfortable with public attention, so be sure to take their unique preferences into account.

    5. Seek and Respond to Feedback

    As a leader, you know how important it is to provide your employees with feedback so they can learn and improve. The same goes for you.

    If you want to be a better leader and improve your employee engagement rates, you need to seek out feedback. Create a comment box for anonymous messages, or send out surveys asking them what they like and don’t like about the way things are run.

    When you do receive feedback, respond to it respectfully and thoughtfully. When people make themselves vulnerable and share problems they’re experiencing, you need to listen to them and make adjustments when possible.

    If you don’t listen to your employees, you’re not showing them that they’re appreciated. If they don’t feel appreciated, how are they supposed to be engaged?

    6. Prioritize Health and Wellness

    Employee health and wellness is essential at all times. When times are hard, though, it’s especially important to make sure your employees have access to resources that improve and support their health and well-being.

    Access to resources includes health insurance and access to mental health care. Make sure they have healthy snacks and drinks in the breakroom, too. Encourage regular breaks from the computer screen and time outdoors during the workday as well.

    7. Lead by Example

    If you want your employees to be engaged and enthusiastic, particularly when life is hard or stressful, make sure you’re engaged and enthusiastic, too.

    Hold regular check-ins with yourself and ask if you’re modeling the company’s core values and mission. If you’re not, figure out how you can change that.

    This isn’t to say that you can never slip up or be less-than-enthusiastic on the job. In general, though, you need to do your best to be the kind of employee that you want your workers to be.

    8. Find Ways to Give Back

    Finally, look for ways that you and your team can give back to the community.

    Volunteering helps workers to develop stronger relationships with one another. It can also help them to feel more connected to their jobs and the company as a whole.

    In difficult times, it’s especially important to find ways to help those who are less fortunate. Being more charitable can give your employees perspective and will boost morale.

    There are lots of ways to give back, both in-person and remotely. Talk to your team to find out what kinds of charity projects they’d like to work together on, then choose one that everyone will enjoy.

    Increase Employee Engagement and Team Collaboration Today

    When times get tough, it’s understandable that your employees might struggle with their motivation and productivity. Instead of scolding them during hard situations, try implementing the tips listed above. They can help you support your workers and give them the tools they need to succeed.

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