It is a strange and unprecedented scenario in the corporate world in 2020. As COVID-19 leads to governments shutting down everything from schools to malls and offices, many enterprises have to suddenly support a remote workforce. While most organizations have focused on operational responses and scenario planning to ensure business continuity, they might not have addressed the fears and anxieties among workers, which could impact their ability to focus on their work.
The pandemic-induced drastic shift in work culture has led to feelings of frustration, burnout and stress, which if ignored can severely impact employee productivity and engagement. In fact, engagement levels were already dipping in the pre-crisis environment. Over 50% of the US workforce was found to suffer from a lack of engagement at the workplace, according to the 2017 State of the American Workplace report by Gallup.
Lack of employee engagement and productivity could be devastating for an organization struggling to survive in the current crisis.
Building Productivity through Employee Recognition
Employee recognition is one of the key ways to motivate the workforce. Employees who feel their voices are being heard are 4.6 times more likely to give their best at work, according to a report by Salesforce. So, how do we achieve that?
Listen to Their Doubts and Fears
HR teams need to facilitate regular conversations between managers and employees, to address sensitive topics, related to the coronavirus pandemic. This includes alternative working models, job security, future prospects, salary cuts and many more questions weighing on the employee’s mind. Through regular two-way communications, employees can be reassured.
Acknowledge Employee Efforts with Rewards
Effective recognition of effort not only motivates the recipient but also serves inspiration for others, regarding the behaviors they should emulate, according to a Gartner report. One way to bring in a sense of belongingness, while rewarding employees is by investing in corporate apparel, with the brand name prominently displayed. Public acknowledgement or tokens of appreciation, such as a personalized gift item like an embroidered hoodie or vouchers to make purchases from the company’s e-store, could be great ways to celebrate achievements, according to experts at Inkwell Global Marketing.
A rewards program that focuses on engaging and rewarding team efforts is vital to maintain team cohesiveness, even as employees work remotely. This will lead to improved collaboration, innovation and communication throughout the company. Employees won’t feel that they are alone in this crisis. These team-based rewards could be more substantial than individual rewards. HR teams can create friendly online game events between teams during the weekend. Winners can be rewarded with company branded products and gift cards as prizes.
An organization’s commitment towards employee well-being and long-term success is more now than ever before, to ensure business sustainability. Only through high employee motivation and engagement levels can businesses get through this crisis.