The Importance of Employee Engagement during a Downturn

Studies have indicated that organizations where employee engagement levels are high will usually be more profitable and successful. Sometimes the organization may face a crisis due to factors beyond their control like a pandemic or recession. In this case, it becomes even more important for the organization to use all the resources available efficiently. Employees are a major resource for all organizations, and their compensation forms a significant part of the regular business expenses. Hence increasing the engagement levels of its employees is one of the most cost effective ways of boosting the productivity of the organization.

simple ways to employee engagement

Here are four simple ways to improve employee engagement:

Communicate regularly

During a recession, many employees fear that they will be dismissed, especially if the organization has dismissed some employees in other offices. This can lead to a lot of mental stress, anxiety since the salary is the main source of income for most employees. It is also very difficult to get a job during the recession. The employees may waste a lot of time gossiping and may not provide proper customer service. Hence it is important for the management and human resources (HR) to communicate regularly with the employees and honestly answer any query they may have. This will greatly reduce the stress which uncertainty can cause.

Low cost methods to improve engagement

During a crisis, the profit of the business will usually be adversely affected due to which it cannot afford to spend more money to keep employees happy. One way to deal with the problem is looking for low cost solutions. Often the threat of a layoff can cause a lot of stress for the employees. Some companies are announcing salary cuts for all employees to reduce the wage bill. In other cases, the employees are offered other options which will help them improve their lifestyle or have more free time. For example, some employees may be allowed to work at home.

Reskilling and training

When the number of orders is reduced, the employees usually have more free time. Instead of firing these employees or paying them salaries despite doing no work, many companies are utilizing this time to train these employees in new technologies which are likely to be in demand. The training will also help improve the career prospects of the employee, and increase the employee engagement since the employee does not have to pay any additional amount for the training. The free time can be used for reskilling, asking experienced employees to train others.

Cost effective Recognition

Though a large number of employees may be working remotely, the organization can still find cost effective methods to recognize performers. The organization should determine the goals which are important and how the employee contribution can help in achieving these goals. It is important to recognize the top performing employees and acknowledge their contribution on time, so that they remain motivated, engaged and work hard. There are many tools which are available which can be used to acknowledge employees for meeting or exceeding the goals specified.

Summary

Though a recession, pandemic or other natural or man-made disaster is a difficult period for any employer, keeping employees engaged can help the organization tide over the crisis successfully.

Resources

Contact Flexicrew and we will expertly guide your organization towards optimal performance through employee engagement.