In light of the nearly 140,000 company layoffs that have been reported so far, we recently investigated the underlying causes of the widespread layoffs that we are currently experiencing in 2023. These layoffs have left employees feeling anxious and uncertain, with many wondering whether they will be the next ones to be let go. In order to preserve a culture of excellence and ensure that teams are able to perform at their best and meet objectives, it is more crucial than ever to focus on employee engagement. We have previously examined how to foster a highly engaged workforce by investing in managers, promoting open communication, and prioritizing employee well-being to boost profitability. In light of the prevailing atmosphere of fear, it is essential to take swift action to promote stability and reassure employees. To maintain their engagement during this time of uncertainty, here are 33 actionable steps that you can take.
Host regular team-building events and activities
There are many team-building events and activities that you can host at your company to promote collaboration, foster teamwork, and boost morale. The key to successful team-building events is to choose activities that will be enjoyable and engaging for your team while also helping them to work together more effectively.
Volunteer work: Organize a group volunteer project where employees can give back to their community while working together towards a common goal. This can include activities like cleaning up a park, organizing a food drive, or helping to build a home with a local charity.
Escape room: Take your team to an escape room where they must solve puzzles and clues in order to escape before time runs out. This activity promotes teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills.
Team-building workshops: Host team-building workshops where employees can learn new skills and techniques for working together effectively. This can include activities like improv classes, leadership training, or communication workshops.
Provide opportunities for professional development and growth
Providing employees with opportunities for training and professional development can help them feel valued and invested in their work. Providing opportunities for professional development and growth is a key way to retain talented employees and promote their long-term success within your organization.
Provide training sessions: Offering regular training sessions and workshops is an effective way to help employees acquire new skills and knowledge that will benefit their professional development.
Encourage ongoing feedback and performance evaluations: Providing employees with regular feedback and performance evaluations allows them to identify areas for improvement and develop a plan for achieving their professional goals.
Offer mentorship programs: Pairing employees with mentors who can provide guidance, support, and feedback on their professional development is a powerful way to promote growth and learning within the organization.
Recognize and reward employees for their contributions and achievements
Recognizing and rewarding employees is essential for creating a positive work environment and encouraging employee engagement and loyalty. The key is to find incentives that are meaningful and relevant to your employees, and that align with your organization's values and culture.
Publicly acknowledge their achievements: Recognize employees' contributions and accomplishments at staff meetings, company-wide communications, or on the company's social media channels.
Offer non-financial incentives: Provide extra vacation days, flexible work arrangements, conferences, workshops, training programs, or other perks to employees who demonstrate exceptional performance.
Provide opportunities for career advancement: Offer employees the chance to take on additional responsibilities, apply for promotions, or work on special projects that can help them grow and advance in their careers.
Encourage open and honest communication within the team
Encouraging open and honest communication within a team is essential for creating a positive and productive work environment. Here are some examples of how you can promote open and honest communication within your team.
Schedule regular team meetings: Hold regular team meetings to discuss projects, progress, and any issues or concerns that team members may have. Encourage everyone to share their thoughts and ideas openly.
Establish an open-door policy: Encourage team members to approach you or their colleagues with any questions or concerns they may have. Let them know that their feedback is valued and that you are open to hearing their ideas and suggestions.
Use collaborative tools: Implement collaborative tools such as project management software or chat apps that allow team members to share information and communicate in real-time.
Create a welcoming and inclusive work environment
Creating a welcoming and inclusive work environment is important for fostering employee engagement, diversity, and collaboration. Here are some examples of how you can create a welcoming and inclusive work environment.
Develop a diversity and inclusion policy: Developing a policy that outlines your organization's commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is critical for creating a welcoming and inclusive work environment. This policy sets expectations for behavior and demonstrates your organization's values and priorities.
Provide diversity and inclusion training: Providing training to help employees understand and appreciate diversity is essential for creating a culture of respect and inclusivity. This training can help employees recognize and address their biases, understand cultural differences, and learn how to communicate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds.
Establish employee resource groups: Establish employee resource groups (ERGs) that provide support and resources to employees with shared backgrounds, interests, or identities.
Offer flexible work arrangements and opportunities for remote work
Allowing employees to have some control over their work schedule and location can help improve work-life balance and increase job satisfaction. Offering flexible work arrangements and opportunities for remote work has become increasingly important in today's workforce. Here are some examples of how you can offer these arrangements.
Flexible schedules: Offer flexible work schedules that allow employees to adjust their hours to meet their personal and professional responsibilities. For example, employees can come in early or work late to accommodate childcare or personal appointments. Offering a combination of in-person and remote work, where employees can choose to work from home or the office as needed, is also something to consider.
Compressed workweek: Offer compressed workweeks, such as four 10-hour days, to provide employees with an additional day off or to accommodate longer commutes.
Job sharing: Allow two part-time employees to share a full-time position, allowing both employees to work part-time while fulfilling the responsibilities of a full-time position.
Encourage employees to take breaks and prioritize their mental and physical health
Encouraging employees to take breaks and prioritize their mental and physical health is essential for maintaining a healthy and productive work environment. Prioritizing employee well-being can lead to increased productivity, job satisfaction, and employee retention. By encouraging employees to take breaks and prioritize their mental and physical health, you can create a supportive and positive work environment that benefits everyone. Here are some examples of how you can encourage employees to prioritize their well-being:
Lead by example: Lead by example by taking breaks, prioritizing your own health and wellness, and setting a positive tone for your employees to follow.
Provide wellness programs: Provide wellness programs that promote healthy lifestyle choices, such as exercise, healthy eating, and stress management. This can include offering gym memberships, hosting healthy cooking classes, or providing mental health resources like counseling services.
Encourage regular breaks: Encourage employees to take regular breaks throughout the day, such as a 10-15 minute break in the morning and afternoon, to rest and recharge.
Provide regular feedback and performance evaluations
Providing regular feedback and performance evaluations is essential for employee growth and development. By providing employees with the feedback they need to succeed, you can help them grow and develop in their roles and contribute to the success of your organization. Here are some examples of how you can provide regular feedback and performance evaluations.
Regular one-on-one meetings: Schedule regular one-on-one meetings with employees to discuss their performance, goals, and areas for improvement. This can be weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly depending on the needs of the employee and the organization.
360-degree feedback: Use 360-degree feedback to gather feedback from colleagues, managers, and direct reports to provide a well-rounded view of an employee's performance.
Goal setting: Set clear and measurable goals with employees and provide regular updates on progress toward those goals.
Give employees a sense of ownership and autonomy in their work
Giving employees a sense of ownership and autonomy in their work is an effective way to promote motivation, engagement, and job satisfaction. By allowing employees to take ownership over their work, you can create a more engaged and committed workforce that is invested in the success of your organization. Here are some examples of how you can give employees a sense of ownership and autonomy.
Encourage creativity: Encourage employees to take initiative and come up with new ideas and solutions to problems. Allow them to explore different approaches and take risks.
Delegate responsibilities: Delegate responsibilities to employees based on their skills, interests, and expertise. This can help them feel valued and trusted.
Encourage self-reflection: Encourage employees to reflect on their work and identify areas for improvement. This can help them take ownership of their own development and growth.
Offer fair compensation and benefits packages
Offering fair compensation and benefits packages is an essential part of attracting and retaining talented employees. By providing employees with the compensation and benefits they deserve, you can attract and retain talented employees who are committed to the success of your organization. Here are some examples of how you can offer fair compensation and benefits packages.
Benefits packages: Offer comprehensive benefits packages that include health insurance, retirement plans, and paid time off. Consider offering additional benefits such as flexible work arrangements, wellness programs, or tuition reimbursement.
Performance-based bonuses: Offer bonuses or other incentives based on employee performance or achievement of specific goals. This can motivate employees to perform at their best and reward them for their contributions.
Transparent pay practices: Be transparent about your pay practices and communicate clearly with employees about how salaries and bonuses are determined. This can help build trust and confidence among employees.
The main takeaway
The current atmosphere of fear and uncertainty caused by the widespread layoffs has made it more important than ever to focus on employee engagement in order to maintain a culture of excellence and meet objectives. As listed above, there are several actionable steps that can be taken to promote stability and reassure employees. By taking these steps, companies can create a positive and supportive work environment that attracts and retains talented employees, leading to increased profitability and long-term success.
In this piece, we list and provide context behind the “10 effective employee engagement activities to improve company culture” chapter found in Next 10: Coach Wisdom for Entrepreneurs, Business Owners, and CEOs Wondering What Moves to Make Next—a book written by the Host and Curator of Arete Coach Podcast, Severin Sorensen, with contributions from Amelia Chatterley.
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