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Employee Engagement & Covid Fatigue

 

Covid fatigue; It’s not just a clever name, the struggle is real.  For over a year now many have been working from home and often balancing homeschooling at the same time.  Now with this third wave and a fourth looming, how do we continue to keep our employees engaged, motivated and feeling valued? 

 

For some, work has been the only constant in their lives; they depend on that for their mental health.  That dependency makes it imperative for employers to do everything they can to maintain a sense of connection with their employees; and like many things in life, it’s those small details that can make all the difference.

 

Make communication a priority: Now, more than ever before communication is paramount.  Since every organization and culture is different, you should use communication channels that make sense for your teams; focusing on what is familiar and trusted. Whether it be a slack channel, instant messaging or video calling; ensure everyone has several options to have two-way communication with team members and leadership.  This includes accurate and timely employee updates; confidential means to facilitate communication for questions and concerns or to seek help and of course don’t forget ways to have simple water cooler chats. 

 

Ensure consistent touchpoints: Depending on your business, initiatives and priorities may be a steady state or perpetually changing.  Since the pandemic and not unlike most times of crisis we’ve all sharpened our sense of resiliency and our understanding that plans may need to shift, and quickly. Staying connected and offering real time clarity to your employees will help in times of uncertainty and ambiguity.  Short check-ins provide opportunity to get a pulse for how people are doing, get on the same page, manage workloads and connect.  These few minutes with your employees will help to boost morale and will encourage feelings of hope and purpose.

 

Encourage self care and promote wellness: Remember travelling?  You get on the plane and the flight attendant does the usual spiel and they tell you in the event of an emergency to affix your own oxygen mask first and then help others with theirs because If you don’t look after you, you’re no help to anyone else.  So be like the flight attendant and promote self care for your employees, promote health and wellness in all you do.  Don’t just point employees to the EAP program, engage with them in all interactions, business focused or culture focused in a way that spurs wellness. 

 

Find ways to celebrate: This is where we have to get creative and find the good in each day.  Whether it be a birthday; an individual/group/company success; a work anniversary or a major life event for an employee, celebrate it.  Focus on the positive wherever possible.  In the words of Wayne D. Dyer, “Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.”

 

Lastly, connect outside your organization and share ideas, share knowledge and help each other out.  I’ve seen more instances of this in the last year than ever before in my career and it reminds me of the human spirit and keeps me optimistic for the future. 

 

Stay well. 

Modesty Sabourin 

Director of HR, Operations

 

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