I’ve read a lot of articles recently about the importance of building resilience in the workforce as we return to a ‘normal’ way of working after the upheaval of the Covid-19 pandemic. The consistent message is this: engage your people in shaping the new normal; listen to their ideas; care about their feelings.
This is all valid stuff, much of it written by well qualified organisational psychologists, but there is an elephant in the room: time. When on earth are business owners and managers going to find the time for all this employee engagement?
Why employee engagement is important
The lockdown, meeting colleagues face-to-face again and even travelling excitement of coming out of to work is counterbalanced by certain misgivings among employees. A year is a long time but it’s not so long that everyone has forgotten what they didn’t like about work before the pandemic. Repetitiveness, inefficiency, clock-watching… Wouldn’t it be awful if, after all this, we just returned to the same old same old?
There is a great opportunity to use this enforced interruption to re-evaluate the way we work and ‘build back better’, and to do that successfully we need to engage our employees. The days of enforcing a rigid 9-to-5 on employees and expecting them to feel motivated are gone. They have tasted a different way – a way that has proven to be more flexible and productive.
So now we need to harness that flexibility by asking them how they would prefer to work. At home? In the office? A hybrid of the two? We need to build our working framework around their individual preferences, with the emphasis on individual.
Five principles of employee motivation
The expert opinions I’ve been reading generally agree on five principles that form the ingredients of a motivated employee:
• Being heard • Having some control • Give and take • Professional development • Time to get work done
Apply these principles and you will effect a smooth transition back to ‘normality’, protect individual employees from any psychological impact and hit the ground running with a happy, motivated, productive workforce.
It sounds simple, but if business owners and managers are not going to sacrifice their own mental health in the process, they need tools to automate employee engagement.
At Rison Software, we’ve been developing a platform called VirtlX, which enables businesses of all sizes to automate continuous engagement with their employees.
Through VirtlX, managers can carry out key performance evaluations such as 360˚ reviews and line manager upward feedback, monitor employee wellbeing and satisfaction, and implement professional development programmes, with most of the process going on in the background.
The platform launches officially today and we’re offering a 14 day free trial, so anybody can see for themselves just how time-saving and cost-effective it is.
The return to ‘normal’ calls for a heightened emphasis on employee engagement. VirtlX buys you the time to make it happen.