Looking at Employee Engagement in a Virtual World

Posted on 11/05/2020 3:02 pm  /   November 2020

In this new virtual world, how do you address employee engagement? Strengths University uses Gallup’s Q12 engagement survey to approach our engagement efforts. Given the Covid-19 chaos, here are a few critical questions to consider.

“Do you have the materials and equipment to do your work right?”
These are challenging times, and often money is tight, but if people don't have what they need, their productivity will drop. Be sure you've touched base with your team to make sure they have what they need to be successful wherever they’re working.

“In the last seven days, have you received recognition or praise for doing good work?”
We’re often bad at recognizing others' accomplishments. Now that we rarely “see” each other, we have fewer opportunities for casual interactions like, “Hey, great job on _____,” or “You’re really improving on _____.” Be intentional about giving feedback – especially positive feedback – to your team.

“Does your supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about you as a person?”
It’s much easier to have casual conversations when everyone is in the same place. It’s those short but significant interactions where people feel that others care about them as a person. Yes, everyone is busy juggling the Covid-19 chaos of work and home, but if you don’t take the time to check in and show genuine concern for your people, engagement suffers.

“Is there someone at work who encourages your development?
Most likely, development has taken a back seat with all the current craziness. When money is tight, development budgets are the first to go. That’s one of the most short-sighted decisions your organization could make. People need to grow and learn, not just push through endless tasks. Investing in your team’s development leads to higher engagement, which saves your organization money.

With the holiday coming up, I’m sure you’re looking for ways to get people engaged through the festivities. I’m pro-festivities, but parties aren’t going to fix core engagement problems. If your people are engaged, they're going to show up. Even if it's to the worst party ever because they care about your organization and their coworkers. If they’re not engaged, they’re simply not going to participate without significant external incentives on your end.

Stephen R. Covey says, “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” It’s your employees who are going to make or break your organization. Make sure you’re investing in their – and ultimately your – success.

Anne Brackett
Chief Engagement Officer of Strengths University