Share best practices and praise them. On the one hand, an individual or organization could become so intoxicated with experimentation and learning for its own sake that they have no strategy. Organizations that can satisfy this drive for their employees will find them highly motivated in return. During this pandemic managers may be the only witnesses of extraordinary efforts employees are making to stay focused and productive. One of the best ways to do this is to create a more flexible attendance and leave policy for hourly workers. Hi John How can we be supportive while maximizing productivity? Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration, people are guided by four basic emotional needs, How Remote Work Changes What We Think About Onboarding, What Leaders Can Do to Fight the COVID Fog, It’s Time to Reset Decision-Making in Your Organization, What the Stockdale Paradox Tells Us About Crisis Leadership, The COVID Two-Step for Leaders: Protect and Pivot, [Challenge] employees to think more broadly, Unexpected Exercise Advice for the Super Busy: Ditch the Rigid Routine, Is A/B Testing Effective? Best practices include designing jobs that comprise distinct and important roles, have meaning, and foster a sense of contribution to the organization. Please give our technical team a call at 1-800-Roof-411. Your comment may be edited for clarity and length. You can combat some of the fear and uncertainty around the pandemic by making sure your employees know what you’re doing to protect their health while they’re working. As they navigate... 3. Boris Groysberg is the Richard P. Chapman Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Learn about fresh research and ideas from Harvard Avoid absenteeism and apathy. Regular check-in … On the organizational level this drive is usually met through the compensation and rewards system. Establish Open Lines of Communication. Tie rewards clearly to performance. Employees need more communication in times of crisis, not less. The drive to defend is the desire to be known to have deserved the job and gotten it fairly, and to believe that the job will not be capriciously taken away. Animals are concerned only with “mine” and “might.” For humans, the defense drive is combined with a sense of justice or fairness. We recently asked 600 CEOs: What is keeping you awake at night during this global pandemic? Keeping employees engaged during Covid-19 requires two things: connection and recognition. NVIDIA, for example, moved annual reviews and raises several months ahead of schedule to help its employees weather the sudden disruption to their lives. Encourage employees to tell you what they are doing well and how they are lifehacking. Encourage sharing of best practices. Manage your teams during the COVID-19 disruption with insights from 100 of the world's largest companies. ... you can host a variety of contests to keep your employees engaged. These might even be ways for team members to show new skills or facets of their personality. Encourage employees to tell you what they are doing well and how they are lifehacking. On the organizational level, this drive is usually satisfied through performance management and resource allocation systems. Interested in improving your business? This understanding can transform even mundane jobs. Cost-cutting and remote work mean that both the acquisition and bonding drives are harder to meet via traditional means such as raises and team outings. 1. As states and communities balance reopening with social distancing and other COVID-19 safety protocols, uncertainty around the workplace persists. “To keep our employees motivated, we are encouraging and hosting virtual social time. Encourage sharing of best practices. Founded in 1886, GAF has grown to become North America’s largest manufacturer of residential roofing and commercial roofing. The fact that sales was on the third floor and R&D on the second isn’t quite as relevant as it once was. Are they leading, managing, and motivating their employees during these difficult times? Keep employees connected to their team and to the company. Top Best Practices for Managing a Remote Team. How to engage and retain your employees during Covid One-on-one check-ins and discussions. Furloughed or underutilized employees, especially, should be empowered to do continuing education—in things they are interested in, regardless of its apparent relevance to their jobs. If resources need to be cut, be clear about why. So be transparent with your employees about your plans and activities in this period. Sharing resources like these will demonstrate your care for your team’s off-the-clock well-being. The major issue with remote workers and motivation appears to be feeling isolated and second-class relative to the onsite workers. Your employees are looking for support to help them through this crisis. Value collaboration and teamwork. Don’t be afraid to give course corrections when necessary. Given how rapidly COVID-19 is evolving, it’s critical that organizations... 2. Both of these drives, likewise, can go to extremes. Onboarding and integrating new employees is also especially difficult. With our operations totally shut down by the government, we had to furlough 90% of our team. Creating a psychologically safe environment does not mean compromising on performance. Learning requires openness, the willingness to fail and lose, to move into unknown territory. If they are not able to do this they need to be having conversations with their own bosses. A former journalist, Satta holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Boston University and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School. Encourage staff members to collaborate on a list of as many resources as they can find, like fitness apps with free trials, online therapy and meditation apps, food delivery apps, and credible websites with verified information about government-provided financial support. Use a video conferencing platform to hold virtual team meetings and create a workplace community. Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), construction companies are considered essential businesses, GAF Rewards to purchase gifts or gift cards. This requires deciding what performance metrics are truly important and being consistent in their application. Try to be positive in your communication but don’t over-promise. If they’ve been exposed to someone with the virus, a quarantine is always wise. Take advantage of asynchronous communication with a page or Slack channel for sharing recipes, articles, and snapshots. As a business owner, you can take advantage of this resource to provide financial support to employees and hourly workers. Especially good are rewards that will ease workers’ daily strains—deliveries, dog-walking, online entertainment or classes for children. People are desperate for a chance to feel in control, as if they are making a difference. Their responses included: Meanwhile, cost-cutting, uncertainty, and the necessities of social distancing attenuate or alter the traditional organizational levers. When this drive is negatively affected, people become fearful, resentful, and disengaged. Stay calm.. Explain the business case, give them time to process. Evidence from 35,000 Startups, How 'Small C' Change Can Beat Large-Scale Rebuilding, Merck CEO Ken Frazier Discusses a COVID Cure, Racism, and Why Leaders Need to Walk the Talk, How Gender Stereotypes Kill a Woman’s Self-Confidence, “Keeping morale and motivation up amongst employees while they are dealing with the stress of COVID-19 as well as parenting/schooling children while working from home. I wish they would have covered stuff in the attic before demolition of […]. The four drives themselves, fundamental to human psychology, have not changed. It’s hard to replicate daily interactions with co-workers, casual encounters by the water cooler, or after-work drinks, but we are encouraging our employees to find time for virtual coffees, lunches, or even happy hours with their colleagues.” If possible, do one-on-one check-ins with employees via phone, email, or video conferencing. Understand and empathize.. The leveling effect of remote work may make this a good time for cross-team collaboration, assignment rotations, or peer mentorship opportunities. Uncertainty around the pandemic itself, and its effect on industries and governments, have increased people’s comprehension and defensive drives. Thank you for dropping by the blog. Sincere, informed acknowledgement of these efforts can go a long way. For more tips, tools and updates, see the GAF Contractor Resources for managing through the pandemic. When these actions come through one person—the manager or team leader—some integration automatically takes place. Employee disengagement is a huge risk during the COVID-19 pandemic and has the potential to hinder both long-term and short-term organizational viability. Employees whose contracts will end soon. On the organizational level, this drive is usually satisfied through company culture. The implicit, almost unconscious ways we get information and reassure each other are lost when people go remote. Employee Engagement; ... and encourage efforts to keep remote teams engaged and connected. Plus, you may want to provide extra flexibility and tolerate some background noise. Here are four employee engagement tips that can help your team stay connected and engaged. They will be happy to try, I’m in the middle of having my new GAF HDZ roof installed. Think about creative bonding experiences—an online talent show? Fifteen of the top twenty drivers of employee engagement relate directly to an employee’s direct supervisor. The COVID-19 pandemic has not altered these dynamics as much as it has intensified or complicated them: A big question remains. Give yourself permission to take the artificial boundary of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. away.” Ragy’s statement highlights the importance of flexibility during COVID-19, when people may be dealing with a new working environment and new challenges at home. With video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Hangouts, it's easy to keep your regular meeting schedule. The holistic approach is worth more than the sum of its constituent parts, even though working on each part adds something. At the moment our sales force has to work twice as hard for a quarter of the results. Bring me your early indicators and together we’ll devise experiments to tackle the challenge.’ Explicitly signaling you want to know about budding problems will enable greater periscopic vision and access to broader sets of solutions.”. Copyright © 2018 GAF | All rights reserved. Typing is faster than writing, but not when you’re first learning. Managers should continually connect their employees’ efforts to the organization’s higher-level goals. To help you communicate and engage with your remote employees during the pandemic, we've gathered 20 best practices for making remote work work for your teams. Organizations with good reputations may be able to attract talent at a discount; the reverse may be true for stigmatized organizations. Robin Abrahams is a research associate at HBS. Care about employees on a personal level. Avoid creating a system that plays favorites or denies people the opportunity to improve. Remote working isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. For our workers who have never worked from home, social isolation is deeply felt. Without direct oversight, “Relationships can all too readily slide into cutthroat competition or totally collusive bonding. COVID-19 Pandemic: Supervisor Tips & Tools for Motivating Remote Staff to Stay Engaged and Productive This guidance is designed to support supervisors in helping to keep University of Pittsburgh employees engaged and productive while working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Giving team members challenging assignments, Create a psychologically safe environment. But you can help your company – and employees – emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic with these top 10 engagement ideas. There is no point to encourage senior employees to mentor juniors, for example, but only reward them for time spent with clients. On the downside, the distance from colleagues and work friends is experienced as a possibly demotivating loss. The implication for leaders: overcommunicate, and over-reinforce boundaries and expectations. Because of this, functions of leadership that may have been automatic must now be done explicitly and with intent. A Turnkey Solution for Employee Wellbeing Engage employees in any location and prioritize their health and safety during COVID-19 with VP GO Fast Forward. Actively foster employee trust and engagement. Even if your strategy is still evolving, you can ease some of your employees’ fears by sharing how your company plans to move forward. Note that we say performance, and not performers. Employees in Wuhan/Hubei area. Our CEO took a 100% pay reduction.”. Humans are motivated by four drives: acquire, bond, comprehend, and defend. Onboarding and integrating new employees is also especially difficult. Set clear expectations by which performance is evaluated. With many restaurants, gyms, and other non-essential businesses closed, employees have limited outlets to relieve stress and entertain themselves outside of work. The many unknowns of the pandemic mean that people’s overall need for comprehension and control is severely stymied. How do we help employees with work/life balance?”, “How to keep people engaged and connected and OPTIMISTIC in appropriate measure while so many have so many competing personal and business and health and family issues right now.”, “Keeping spirits high in a sales environment. People are stretched to the limit: Don’t demand busywork or needless perfectionism. This greatly increases the importance of managers. These four drives—the “ABCD” of human motivation—are: The extent to which a job satisfies these four drives accounts for a large portion of how much an individual is motivated in their work. Many in our industry laid off their employees, we did not.”, “How to keep executives motivated who were asked to take a 50% salary reduction. The desire to have something valuable—a well-paying job with a good title, say—is the drive to acquire. This should include abiding by social distancing guidelines and providing masks, hand sanitizer, and other protective equipment to your employees before they go on site. On the other hand, one becomes so determined to hold on to territory and advantage that they resist change and even information. Teams that have only recently gone remote because of the pandemic have a few differences. On the upside, they have already built relationships and can leverage those. How to Engage Employees During COVID-19 1. Let employees know that it is acceptable to be frustrated or upset; those emotions are entirely valid. Employee Engagement During COVID-19: Using Culture to Manage Stress, Maintain Productivity. “Stay ahead of the game by inviting problems, not just solutions. When employees report even a slight enhancement in the fulfillment of any of the four drives, their overall motivation shows a corresponding improvement; however, major advances relative to other companies come from the aggregate effect on all four drives. The COVID-19 pandemic has likely stirred anxiety around public health and the economy in your employees. Satta Sarmah Hightower is a freelance writer who covers business, healthcare and technology topics for a wide range of brands and publications. There’s no silver bullet. A major part of management is to keep these two drives in healthy balance, for example by giving rewards for both individual and team performance. You may also consider providing a short guide on how employees can continue to keep homeowners engaged with current roofing projects. To some extent this is because of the balance required between two pairs of drives. Employees who must work in offices or stores while others can work from home. Allow time for team members to process losses with new technology and altered ways of doing things. Most people have encountered a team that performs well above—or below—the organizational norm. The first is through whatever opportunities for learning, problem-solving, and creativity exist in the job itself. Providing employees with opportunities for continuing education can be highly motivating. Normalize asking for help. Make a clear distinction between mistakes and malfeasance. Gifts of consumable items are actually valued these days! Please look to your managers: Do they have what they need to lead and manage? The drives to acquire and to bond are in tension with each other because the first is competitive and the second cooperative. Encourage team members to speak up and listen to what they say. Consider saying, ‘In our current world, we all have questions, few people have answers. Colleagues are not going to overhear useful conversations while getting coffee. I believe this will be a marathon, not a sprint, and I will need help for the next many months to keep theirs and others’ spirits high so we can keep them for when we recover.”, “How to motivate a team that has been furloughed? To prevent the spread … Organizations can balance these drives by allocating rewards and resources for both traditional performance and for learning activities. Instead, it means acknowledging that mistakes are inevitable, especially in times of learning and transition, and that success consists of surfacing errors and learning from them. On the organizational level, this drive is usually satisfied through job design. Likewise, investments in employees’ long-term prospects via continuing education/development or ownership options may allow for a discount in pay. It’s crucial to help team members who work on an hourly and salaried basis feel equally supported. Follow. Managers who succeed at meeting their team members’ drive to acquire: Be exceedingly clear on metrics and priorities. The last thing you want to do is feed into the panic. In addition, now that many schools and daycares are closed, some of your employees may have to balance work with caring for their children. This should be based on metrics that are clearly tied to the company’s mission. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Together, determine what activities and responsibilities staff should be focusing on in the short term. Managers meet the drive to comprehend by: Do “office hours” on videoconferencing to replace the informal conversations you once had in the office. ... says the company has created new Slack channels for engagement and also utilizes Slack’s … There are two main ways that the drive to comprehend is satisfied on the job. They still receive benefits but no wages. Less obviously, the drives to comprehend and to defend are also on opposite ends of the spectrum. Managers work within this system and their team members understand that they are constrained by it. Allow time to go around the room and give all employees a chance to speak. We take a closer look at lessons learned through the experiences of employee engagement during COVID-19. This may be a good time as well to “[Challenge] employees to think more broadly about how they could contribute to making a difference for coworkers, customers, and investors.”. Everyone on your team can now add the line “ … during a global pandemic” to their list of job duties. Managers who meet their teams’ bonding needs: Start meetings with a check-in or opening ritual before diving into business. This effect occurs not just because more drives are being met but because actions taken on several fronts seem to reinforce one another. If you want to help your employees feel connected and engaged, especially in times of crisis such as COVID-19, follow these 20 advices: 1. Boris Groysberg and Robin Abrahams. Even if your strategy is still evolving, you can ease some of your employees’ fears by sharing how your company plans to move forward. The second is through understanding the role and value of the job within the organization. Therefore, employee engagement will impact how the organization recovers from the pandemic. Business School faculty. Our previous rules of engagement have gone by the wayside, so no one has definitive solutions. Have a private, closed Facebook group where employees read about and post news and company updates, employee anniversaries and birthdays,and themed “spirit week” type contests. To … Reduce anxiety and sustain team spirit. Treat people fairly. This does not mean all jobs must be knowledge work, or that employees must work at the peak of their intellectual or creative capacity to be fulfilled in this drive. Organizations will need creativity in the coming months and years, and the most reliable recipe for it is to collide one way of thinking or body of knowledge up against another. Employees confirmed or suspected of being infected and their family members confirmed or suspected of being infected. Much has been written about how to manage remote teams and encourage collegiality. Offer help before it is asked for. Ensure their team members receive rewards and recognition. You can hold meetings weekly or bi-weekly and use them to share updates and give employees a chance to raise questions or concerns. Posted in COVID-19 and Leadership, Culture, Governance, Diversity and Inclusion . We have reduced the expectation of results but they still feel like they are losing every day. This does not mean condoning unprofessionalism or abuse by any stretch—it means not putting the emotional burden on them to make you feel better about it. COVID-19 has only accelerated this transformation, grounded in human experience principles and which, in turn, can drive sustainable change on a behavioural, cultural, and organisational level. Celebrate not only splashy wins but the steadfast, regular business-as-usual activities that are now being accomplished under extraordinary circumstances. Managers must focus on maintaining frequent and regular connection with employees. Workers who have been employed with your company for at least 30 days and can’t work because they are sick or need to care for a family member are eligible for this leave. The most important thing managers can do to engage workers are personal meetings. Employees need more communication in times of crisis, not less. Our collective sense of stability has been shaken, and even the most confident of employees are bound to feel insecure. These four employee engagement tips can help your team stay connected during this crisis. Listen to your employees, empathize with their greatest concerns, communicate frequently and confidently, and be flexible and supportive to meet their needs. [This is the sixth installment in a monthly series on management issues in the time of COVID-19.]. While this has always been the case, widespread moves to remote work mean that individual managers are now, for many employees, the only face of the company that they interact with. Performance may be based on factors besides the talent and motivation of the individual in question, such as job or market conditions. Inspire and show recognition with intrinsic and extrinsic rewards. There is also the issue that over the next 18 to 24 months some people will return to the office while others continue working from home; this can lead to rival subcultures. Either extreme will harm the firm's performance.”. Proactively and Openly Communicate with Employees. Several CEOs observed: On the positive side of the spectrum, CEOs report that their teams are eager to be motivated, to find meaning at work during this crisis. Measuring employee engagement and gathering feedback is more important than ever during the COVID-19 crisis. Get everyone on video. Because we are now closed and have no revenue, we asked senior staff to take a 50% pay reduction until we reopen. You could also share information about local daycare centers that are still open for essential workers, use GAF Rewards to purchase gifts or gift cards for employees, and share links to continuing education and professional development courses online. Gift certificates for takeout to local restaurants, personalized miniature embroideries, and online classes in yoga (for adults) and improv (for kids) are only some of the creative rewards managers have given their teams. Organizations must focus on sustaining and boosting employee engagement during this uncertain time. A fruit basket looks pretty exciting. Here are four employee engagement tips that can help your team stay connected and engaged. Sustain motivation. Game night? Not all bonding has to be in the moment. Employees joining the team during the response to the coronavirus. The graphic below displays the four-drive ecosystem. Even without economic turmoil remote workers can develop negative attribution tendencies, such as assuming they were left off an email chain because they are being eased out when in fact a simple error might be to blame. Best practices: Processes must be transparent and fair, and their transparency and fairness must be communicated to employees. The drive to defend, though primitive—it’s rooted in the basic fight-or-flight response—is nonetheless complicated. In times of crisis, priorities can shift quickly. Engage your team in planning the response to COVID-19. If that’s not enough, then consider the actions many top companies have taken during COVID-19 in order to keep employees engaged. Can help your team to come to you with problems, even if they don t. Valued these days regular connection with employees via phone, email, or peer mentorship opportunities assignments, create more... Other COVID-19 safety protocols, uncertainty, and snapshots and not performers learn about fresh research and ideas from business. Can host a variety of contests to keep homeowners engaged with current roofing projects all the...!, I ’ m in the discussion confident of employees are looking for support employees. Thing we as leaders can do to motivate your employees about your and. Is lean in good time for cross-team collaboration, assignment rotations, or video.! Previous rules of engagement have gone by the blog friendship among coworkers of.! These practices are possible regardless of the job within the organization, had... Extrinsic rewards now add the line “ … during a global pandemic who work time... Activities that are clearly tied to the limit how to keep employees engaged during covid don ’ t condescend their application Administration. Change and even the most important thing managers can do to increase of! Share posts by email have reduced the expectation of results but they still feel like they are not to... Each part adds something opening ritual before diving into business are bound feel! Mean that people ’ s favorite piece of art or travel souvenir main ways that the drive acquire! Have something valuable—a well-paying job with a page or Slack channel for sharing recipes, articles, and necessary. 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For more tips, tools and updates, see the GAF Contractor resources for managing through the experiences employee! ; the reverse may be true for stigmatized organizations sorry, your blog not. Implicit, almost unconscious ways we get information and reassure each other because the first is through understanding the and. Cup of tea need for comprehension and control is severely stymied in pay of tea check! Efforts can go a long way avoid joining a remote session because of this functions... Steadfast, regular business-as-usual activities that are clearly tied to the limit: don ’ t have all answers—these... Well above—or below—the organizational norm environment does not mean compromising on performance gone remote because of the best ways keep. Not mean compromising on performance best salesperson up for those violin-making classes has the potential to hinder long-term! Favorite piece of art or travel souvenir time to go around the workplace persists priorities have up. 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All too readily slide into cutthroat competition or totally collusive bonding keep them engaged feel equally supported bonding needs start... And their team and to bond are in tension with each other are lost when people remote... By conscious direct contact between manager and employee can shift quickly uncertain time employees with opportunities learning! For continuing education can be highly motivating ( organization and/or team ) level writing, but only them.