24 Jan RE-ENGAGING YOUR EMPLOYEES – A LEADER CHECKLIST
The first month of 2021 is almost over and leaders and teams are cautiously optimistic and moving forward. The shifts in how we work due to the pandemic continue and we need to stay vigilant about how we are cultivating the experience and productivity of employees. Working from home, the office or a combination of both will be the way forward for the foreseeable future, even after the pandemic is over.
In a previous post, I spoke of having “fresh eyes” and perspective as we encounter much of the same landscape as last year. We all have the opportunity to reframe our perspective and re-engage with work and each other to stay connected and productive.
Recently I had a virtual meeting with a new business contact that was scheduled for 30 minutes. We spent the first 20 minutes talking about how much has changed and how hard it is to stay engaged working from home! A year ago, we wouldn’t have spent that much time connecting, but it was important to have a sense that we are all in this together.
It got me thinking about how creating a sense of belonging is an important part of engaging or re-engaging with your employees. The word engage means to “establish a meaningful contact or connection with”1. Some of the things that will continue to impact employee engagement and their experience of work include:
- Uncertainty caused by Covid-19
- Layoffs and restructuring
- Budget and resource constraints
- Overall change fatigue
You can safeguard belonging and engagement for your team by getting a pulse on how well they are currently engaged. Below is a link to a short checklist you can use to assess your team’s engagement. FYI, they can also be used to check your own engagement.
Here are 3 focus areas to keep in mind to support re-engaging your team. These simple reminders are things you can do and repeat regularly.
Mindset of Invitation – Re-Focusing Employees
When it comes to re-engagement, be intentional about how you interact with employees. They want and need assurance on what they need to do now more than ever. Have a mindset of invitation and invite your team to share ideas about what needs to be done and when.
- Get their input on what needs to be done right now and how they’ll do it.
- Remind them that their efforts actually do matter to business outcomes
We can get so busy juggling multiple priorities and day-to-day work that we forget to look for ways to include employees and share ideas.
Visibility and Availability
Being visible and available is critical to re-engaging employees. Right now, being available likely means setting up time virtually. Book those Zoom meetings! Your team wants to talk about concerns, issues and successes more frequently. Showing care and concern for your team members if done with sincerity, is greatly welcomed and appreciated.
Stay Connected – Communicate Effectively
Communicating regularly re-engages employees because it builds trust. When employees have a higher level of trust, they will feel more connected, especially when you tell the truth about what’s happening! A mix of team meetings and one on ones will help you get your key message across and allow each employee to decide how they can make a difference.
- Remind them of the purpose of the company or work team.
- Let each employee know what you expect of them.
Be as clear as you can and communicate what’s expected especially as things shift along the way. Recognizing that you or your team need to be re-engaged is an important first step. Secondly, know that it’s an on-going process. Your efforts don’t need to be perfect, just consistent.