As we start to adjust to our new normal in the workplace, there is another virus looming in many companies called “employee disengagement.” The statistics on employment are staggering. Behind each one there is a story for WHY the employee became disengaged. Many employees are returning to an office setting for the first time in months, having to deal with wearing masks at their desks, sanitizing work stations, and worrying about social distancing — all of this on top of their day to day tasks. The stressors of COVID-19 are unprecedented and difficult to handle.
Some employees are feeling frustrated that they have to return to the office after working from home. Some workers are even contemplating not returning to their jobs or considering major career shift. Your furloughed or WFH employees may not come back in full force as employers once thought.
Recently I have heard about two scenarios that are recipes for engagement disaster. One boss INSISTED that the staff return to the NYC office, but he was going to be working offsite. The second one also communicated that all staff must return without a discussion regarding accommodations. Not only are these two poor leadership decisions, they will surely create disengagement. As soon as the job market opens these employees will look to leave, but that’s not the worst of it. Now they’re in your company and they are completely disengaged, which is a festering wound.
Assessing employee disengagement
Now is a great time for employers to assess their employee engagement. A simple engagement survey and stay interviews with employees allows you to check in with them regarding coming back to the office and beyond. Engagement surveys also help employees feel like they’re an important part of the company, and that their thoughts and opinions are valued. There is no better way to make your employees want to stick around through COVID-19 and beyond than making them feel like they matter.
Employee Stay Interviews allow organizational leadership to understand why staff continue to work for your organization. The results of these interviews give leadership important knowledge into current issues you can improve, allowing you to keep your best, most valuable employees.
Surveys and interviews can also help leadership assess how confident your employees are in your ability to return the organization back to normal. Employees are more likely to return to work with enthusiasm and excitement if they are confident in their leaders’ ability to manage changes effectively.
Preparing for the future
These tools can help employers prepare for the future. Discovering a problem within your employee engagement atmosphere allows employers the unique opportunity to address the issue and nip it in the bud. Ignoring these issues and letting them fester, allows employee disengagement to grow.
Flynn Barrett Consulting can help you solve those engagement hurdles and setup remedies before they turn into major workplace headaches including plans for surveys and a model of stay interviews.