It would be an understatement to say that the pandemic has been harsh for the business world. Between the strict social distancing norms and the decline in customer buying power, a lot of businesses lost their revenue and had to shut shop.
The businesses that have managed to survive these tough economic times are facing an entirely different set of issues. One of the top concerns has been a severe decline in employee engagement which truly isn’t a big surprise given the uncertainty the pandemic has brought forward.
Business owners have tried to help employees by equipping them tech tools that make communication and collaboration more efficient. But the constant fear of losing their jobs if the world economy worsened takes a toll on their mental health.
Business owners need to identify signs of disengagement and understand the reasons to help employees re-engaged. With this article, we aim to explore all the possible reasons for the decline in employee engagement in this global crisis.
According to recent research conducted globally over 2,700 employees, it was revealed that 75.2% feel more socially isolated due to the pandemic. Isolation is linked to a lack of motivation and makes employees feel bored, lonely, and depressed. It also leads to sleep cycle disturbance which can cause irritation and frustration.
With such a high percentage of employees feeling isolated, it is but obvious that their engagement levels are bound to decline. Managers need to stay in regular touch with employees to identify these psychological effects of the pandemic on their teams.
Lack of social connection:
The connections that employees build in the workplace contribute to their happiness. Basic things like socializing during water cooler breaks or enjoying non-work-related conversations during lunch breaks are no longer possible, which makes employees feel disconnected.
Human beings are social animals who need social engagement to survive and thrive. Since employees are working remotely, they no longer have any connection with their colleagues which has a grave impact on their engagement levels.
A major reason for the decline in employee engagement is managers not making the effort to check up on their employees. They may be failing to give employees the necessary support or the earned recognition for their good performances, which lowers employee morale significantly.
Unfortunately, managers too are having an equally hard time in the pandemic. This makes it vital to help managers to take care of their teams. It is recommended to train managers with tools like 360 Learning to help them understand the best ways to keep their teams motivated and productive in these tough times.
Poor work-life balance:
It may seem shocking to have this point listed here since remote work is often associated with a good work-life balance. But because of the stay-at-home orders, working remotely has become very difficult for employees. They are stuck in the same space throughout.
So even though working from home provides employees a lot of flexibility and can make them more productive, the lack of freedom is actually impacting their personal lives adversely. The lines between work life and personal life are getting blurred which has led to a poor-work life balance and becomes a big reason for the decline in engagement.
With the decline in employee engagement becoming so apparent, managers and HR professionals must do everything in their power to find solutions to enhance engagement. Regularly checking in on your employees and appreciating them for their efforts is an easy way of making them feel a part of the workplace culture and maintaining connections.
Of course the question is how to improve both business results and engagement.