Employee Engagement Receives a Massive Boost From Covid-19
As Covid-19 continues to affect businesses and organizations worldwide, it essential to know that amidst the ‘’negative affects’’ it has had, there have also been positives. Businesses and HR leaders feel that employee experience, productivity, and engagement have improved.
How exactly? Let’s take a look.
- Employees are being looked after
Is health the primary concern amidst the pandemic? It is but there’s also sustenance. Many have lost their jobs and sources of income over the past few months. The concern of the employees is how they will cope with the financial burden and support their families?
Employers have known this all along. In fact, many have enabled remote working policies and flexible benefits to support employees. They’re being upskilled and wellness tips are being imparted. Financial assistance and help with loans are also being provided.
Jobs cuts have prevailed, and by the look of things, experts believe that it will continue; especially for businesses that aren’t financially stable. That said, employers haven’t disbanded employee camps. They’re engaging with outplacement companies and working on plans for employee compensation, re-hiring plans if the situation of a layoff comes to pass.
- Support and care at home
Many companies have transitioned into the work-from-home routine. And so far, it has been more of a hit than a miss given the current scenario. While employee satisfaction has improved due to this ‘’flexible’’ work policy, being well-equipped for work from home was the primary concern — would the employees receive the same support from employers given the change in the work environment?
Yes. The employers have ensured that the employees have everything they need to work. Remote IT assistance, setting up of internet facilities, delivery of office supplies (via government agencies that were allowed to operate)…the support has been tremendous.
And that’s not all. Employers also know that working in a closed, isolated environment with tons of distractions and responsibilities for weeks can stress out employees. They’re caught between two worlds in a world that is plagued by a devastating virus. Online support groups are being set up to engage the employees, classes on exercise and mental wellbeing are being conducted to battle the work-at-home demands placed on employees.
- Learning never stops
Whether it’s a hobby or a core skill in marketing, IT, sales, operations, finance etc., employees have never been more eager to learn more — and the employers are supporting their hunger for knowledge.
Learning and Development departments in companies which didn’t exist in some companies are being set up. And those companies who did but reported minimal interaction with employees, are reporting a massive surge in demand for more online courses.
- The new nature of the leadership
The situation has been dire, but CxO-level executives making up the leadership team have been more responsive, open to new ideas, caring of other employees in the last few months according to some reports.
In fact, perhaps in a long time, employees are being vocal about their perceptions of senior leadership. Employees are able to participate in surveys asking them of their views about the leadership, and what they feel should change. Companies too have understood that the leadership team is firing on all cylinders for some time now and have been implementing programs for mental health, support, and mentorship for them.
- The new work-from-home culture
The work-from-culture has opened a wealth of opportunities for businesses. They’ve begun to see that productivity loss is not as bad as what they anticipated. Given the flexible nature of work and through employee upskilling and engagement activities, employee output has been the same if not more.
There is a sense of urgency within the business community to have contingencies in place for remote working to be a norm in their work cultures in the long run. Tools for collaboration, communication, and upskilling have been integrated by companies. And as a result of work transitioning from offices to homes, new opportunities have emerged for companies which are being explored.
Emphasis is being placed on the online servicing and support of customers through mobile applications and websites. For this, the employees are being trained online and insights are being drawn from customer demands. Companies have also noticed that for their online business model and their work-from-policy to succeed, new roles need to be created, and the personnel trained appropriately.
- The makeover of HR and talent acquisition
The pandemic has also enabled companies and employees to think more about the team rather than individual performances. HR leaders and businesses say that they are revamping their onboarding process to facilitate remote workers, investing more in recruitment and training, and giving their performance management systems a makeover.
Covid-19 in many ways has been a a renaissance of sorts. Senior leadership are interacting more giving clear indications and communicating effectively with employees at all levels about the organizational goals. Employees are collaborating and communicating more than ever to get more work done in less time. Employee engagement and experience are undergoing transformations. New technologies and digitalization are being embraced to facilitate remote working. Recruiting and HR methodologies are changing. New job opportunities are emerging given the rise in online demands for services. But most of all, health, wellness, and safety is being prioritized.
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