(Re)building Employee Engagement: How To Bring Employees Back To Work After The Pandemic

Last year the workplace consisted of zoom and skype chats and working from home and now employers want their employees to come back to the office.

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The ongoing pandemic has brought along many challenges to the workplace. Last year the workplace consisted of zoom and skype chats and working from home and now employers want their employees to come back to the office.

These days the world has started to adjust to the new measures that have been put in place by different governments. So it might be a good idea to have a look to see how to get employees back into the workplace once things have returned to some sort of previous normality.

 Problems after Covid

Employees are finally heading back to the office, and employers are not assuming that this could also be causing a lot of stress and anxiety. They believe that employees will be happy to be back in the office but that’s not always the case. 

Employers must first and foremost be informed about the potential mental problems that their employees are exposed to in order to be able to help them in the end. When it comes to which mental health problems caused by Covid could last longer, psychologists believe that obsessive-compulsive disorder could be one of the main candidates. 

 How to help?

There are numerous ways to successfully overcome post-Covid problems. The key though is in communication. 

In order to communicate this effectively, there must be a professional working relationship between employer and employee.

When an employer shows to an employee that they are very desirable in the company and that their place is deeply justified, they will try to give their best. 

Placing value in your workplace not only improves the atmosphere within the company but also improves morale and work ethic.

Although many companies face smaller or larger cash losses during the pandemic period they have to find ways to reward, stimulate and invest in their employees.

Feedback is an integral element of the employee motivation process and one of the important mechanisms for stimulating employees to achieve their set goals. It is necessary to inform people about the achieved results, praise them for a job well done, but also point out the necessary corrections.

Think of it as creating an employee handbook - just for their return to the office.

In addition to the above, there are numerous methods of motivating employees such as the steps that are below. 

11 easy steps to keep handy: 

#1 Acknowledgments / Attention. 

Attention keeps you honest and interactive while being in your workplace, this is important in order to feel a sense of belonging and as well feel that you are contributing to the overall outcome of the company.

Your recognition is gratitude for a job well done. Probably most employers do not give enough recognition. 

If this applies to you, you need to change your habits and pay more attention to the individual and group performance of employees. If your website is running a blog, for example, crediting content creators for each post will help you show how much you value their work.

#2 Applause as a form of recognition. 

Yes, and a very specific form. Applaud your people for certain results. Where? When? 

The answer is wherever and whenever. In meetings, during lunch, in the office, at the end of the shift, or whenever possible during work.

Positivity is important in order to keep motivation levels high and keep providing employees to come to work.

#3 Additional responsibility. 

There are certain employees in your company who are in the process of career development whose readiness you can test by gradually increasing the degree of responsibility.

Your job as an employer is to identify who these individuals are and define a plan for their development. At the onset, you can even equip them with your knowledge sharing culture to promote accountability and teamwork. 

#4 Using plaques or trophies 

This is an effective way to give recognition and gratitude to your people. This will allow employees something to aim for and will push them to achieve that goal.  

Encourage your employees to perform better by introducing unique rewards for special achievements. This method is often successfully used in the form of rewards such as employee of the month, an employee of the week, and the like.

#5 One-on-one interviews 

Perform direct interviews with employees. Your only expense is time. If you invest your time in your workers, it will mean that you care.

#6 Give feedback 

Feedback and emphasis on the positive aspects of a job well done with encouragement and engagement. 

At the same time, this method acts as a natural stimulus for others who are close enough to see or hear what is happening.

#7 Provide an opportunity 

Provide an opportunity for employees to further improve in the work they perform through the organization of either internal or external training and education. 

Training has a double positive effect on the performance of your business, primarily through increasing employee motivation, but also by applying newly acquired knowledge and skills in the workplace.

If you decide to offer training internally, it’s a good idea to find an online course platform to do so as it’ll be a simple and scalable way to make sure employees stay up-to-date. 

#8 Sense of belonging

One of the basic human needs is a sense of belonging. That is why it is important to build a team spirit and a team relationship among employees. 

If your team is small, make a picture of the team and hang it in a visible place. Most people like to see themselves physically as part of a group or team.

#9 Socializing with employees. 

Planning joint events and never missing important dates (business anniversary, New Year, etc.). 

Gatherings of this type encourage team spirit, which ultimately has a positive effect on the work environment. 

Playing for example board games in person allows you to see and feel emotion compared to playing online. You can view the tension and see the movement of other players and can interact with everyone around you compared to being online. 

#10 Organization of sports events  

Sports days can be organized internally only for the employees of your company or in cooperation with other important companies, clients, or suppliers.

 Through such activities, you directly improve relations among your employees, but you can also work on building relationships with important customers/suppliers.

#11 Different competitions 

The topic of the competition can be a new solution for an already established process, an initiative to improve certain things, an award for creativity, etc.

To conclude

Being honest and direct with the employees is always desirable. This will lead to a harmonious workplace and also will reduce tension and increase productivity.

The truth should not be masked but open and transparent to everyone. A good employer’s character is reflected in displaying a genuine personality and being friendly and easily approachable at work. 

Nobody wants to be stuck in the same place for a while and stagnate by doing the same dead-end job. This is counterproductive to an effective atmosphere and could lead to employees being resentful. 

Most successful employers already demonstrate to their employees that they need to invest in their own professional growth and through your words and actions that you care. 

Everybody's in the same boat, nobody's really a hundred percent safe. Especially in this time of Covid regardless of position or rank. In an ever-changing landscape, those that adapt to change will succeed. 

So you have to admit to yourself that there's going to be a period of adjustment and that's normal. The challenge today is keeping everyone on board and keeping them motivated in this new world with Covid.