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Establishing employee engagement should be step one right now

What should companies be prioritising right now?

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Needless to say, companies are going through a lot of changes in 2020. Between sudden interruptions to work, transitions to work-from-home conditions, and in some cases the loss of business or employees, there has been a lot to adjust to. Those adjustments are continuing as more companies start to ramp up their activity, and this brings to mind a crucial question: What should companies be prioritising in the present conditions?

There isn’t necessarily a “correct” answer to this question, and responses will vary depending on different companies’ needs. The following, however, are ideas every business should consider in assessing its primary focal points as the world emerges from the worst of the Covid crisis.

Establishing Employee Engagement

Ideally, establishing employee engagement will already have been a priority for most companies. However, strong employee engagement is all the more important now, with employees managing stressful situations and in most cases working remotely.

This is something we addressed in the post ‘How to Build Employee Engagement via Feedback in Microsoft Teams’, which looked specifically at how this popular remote work tool can help to bring about greater engagement. As we commented then though, two-way feedback — basically, thorough engagement — can “establish a culture of open communication” within a company.

This is true within Teams and otherwise, and is all the more important in the aftermath of the Covid outbreak. Employees now are likely to feel stressed, isolated, and possibly uncertain about their futures. Engaging them thoroughly and continually will help to ease these concerns and boost company culture moving forward.

Fostering Employee Wellness

Employee wellness is a broad topic, and there are various ways to go about focusing on it now. For starters, companies should take whatever steps they can to allow for mental health treatment for anxious, stressed, or even depressed employees. Business Insider noted back in May that a number of prominent companies were already “stepping up their mental health benefit offerings,” and any company that is able to follow suit should do so.

Additionally, though, companies should prioritise finding ways for employees to relax, adjust to new conditions, and enjoy some sense of normalcy. This might mean establishing a more flexible schedule while employees are working from home. It might mean offering opportunities for digital socialisation between co-workers that doesn’t revolve around work. Whatever the specifics, efforts should be made to address everyday wellness also.

Marketing Products & Services

Marketing efforts might not directly play into employee wellness or new working conditions. However, with so many companies having lost business during the worst of the pandemic, a revamped marketing approach can be essential. It’s a means of generating more business, which of course has a positive impact on employees in the long run.

Given remote work and potentially smaller workforces though, a new strategy might be needed — and we’d suggest emphasising digital efforts. Ayima Kickstart outlined some of the biggest hurdles for small businesses where online marketing is concerned, and included technical SEO issues, few incoming links, and a lack of optimised content. These are all problems that relate to digital strategy and content marketing, and they’re all things that a company can work on even given remote conditions. By prioritising these areas — ramping up SEO, optimising content, and generating incoming links — a company can improve its visibility as a first step toward growing business again.

Revamping Project Management

This is more of an internal matter. But given all of the other changes going on, companies should consider revamping their project management efforts as well.

Specific changes will vary, but project management should take into account new schedules for remote employees, new limitations on business, and new priorities (such as a marketing push, perhaps). Even a company that is largely pursuing the same goals on the same timeline as it would have before is likely going to have to do so through different means, and this should be reflected in internal planning and tracking. This will help with general organisation, but it also keeps expectations on employees realistic.

Making Offices Safe

Plenty of companies will be moving forward without reopening physical offices, at least for a while. If and when the time comes to open up a physical space though, it’s of paramount importance for a company to make the environment safe.

This is a tall order in the midst of a pandemic, but there are plenty of productive steps that can be taken. We like some of the tips suggested by the BBC — such as health screening, new materials that can withstand heavy, regular cleaning, and more space between seats — as logical starting points.

These kinds of changes might be awkward to implement at first, but they’ll ultimately help to make employees safe. That, in the end, should be the very top priority for every company moving forward.

Need a guiding hand for establishing employee engagement, boosting performance and improving productivity?

Workplace Culture Consultant and Writer