employee engagement strategies
Choosing Employee Engagement Strategies After Layoffs.
The employee engagement strategies implemented following layoffs have significant influence over whether remaining employees will stick around or if they'll head for the door.
Not all engagement strategies are created equally, nor are they equal in impact. Much of this depends on communication and the organizational culture that exists.
In this article, we'll explore:
- HR priorities and challenges
- People strategy and decision-making
- Recommended solutions
Human Resources Priorities And Challenges.
I write often about change management. And, while the pandemic brought about significant changes for employees and their organizations, the return to work or office and concerns about economic stability and recession are fueling additional challenges, decision-making, and changes.
We've seen layoffs at companies that one might have thought were nearly-immune to a tightening of financial belts. Their revenue-generating winning streaks and market dominance seemed as though they'd go on unchallenged. If obstacles appeared, funding or financial resources would be sure to carry them through with ease, no? That hasn't been the case, and layoffs have been consistent throughout 2022.
"Strikes and gutters,"as The Dude would say, will continue, and for different reasons in the future. Companies are shedding employees, cutting costs, and retreating from a previous focus on expansion and talent acquisition. High-level meetings now center on doing more with less and retaining employees through improvements to employee engagement.
People Strategy And Decision-Making.
Employee engagement isn't something that can be copied and pasted from one organization to the next. While your company might benefit from some of the adjustments and introductions that other companies have made in fostering employee engagement, it's worthwhile to take a closer look, as it isn't uncommon for organization to miss the mark in their efforts.
❌ Things To Avoid.
Certain things that are nice-to-have in times of plenty don't have the same, meaningful impact when the stresses of recent, workforce reductions are on the minds of layoff survivors.
Here are a few:
- Ping pong tables & other games
- Unlimited cold brew
- Casual Fridays
- A new and improved tech stack
Most of these don't add to a meaningful sense of purpose. And, an upgraded tech stack, while potentially improving productivity, fails to address the root causes of disengagement.
✅ Where To Focus.
Employees concerned about layoffs, additional cuts, financial pressures, and overwork want to know their jobs are safe, opportunities for career advancement exist, support will be provided in communication and training, and that their voices are valued.
You and your team will be better-served through attention here:
- Career pathing
- Certification offerings
- Coaching and mentoring
- Communication and feedback
- Individualized development plans
- Organizational transparency
- Personalized benefit plans
- Strategic inclusion and participation
- Training and workshops
You've heard that for personal fulfillment, it's better to invest in experiences over material things. Similar is true in business.
Your stronger employee engagement strategies will be investments in the experiences and development of employees over those
that clutter the office with materials.
A Company's #1 Asset.
"Employees are a company's greatest asset - they're your competitive advantage. You want to attract and retain the best; provide them with encouragement, stimulus, and make them feel that they are an integral part of the company's mission." ~ Anne Mulcahy
Because your organization is unique, what's worked for others might not provide the impact yours needs. I've been following Lebron's training program for years and I still can't dunk and no global companies are sliding into my DMs with endorsement offers. With this in mind, here are keys that will help you on your path.
✔️ Begin with an assessment or audit.
Each player, employee, team, and organization has strengths and weaknesses that others, even those appearing similar or operating in like industries, do not. It's why there are different player ratings in each new edition of Madden (the 🏈 video game).
Here are a few assessments that will show you where gaps exist:
- SWOT Analysis
- Change Readiness Audit
- Employee Engagement Survey
The key is not to guess. Plan the route, based on data, before you design, announce, and implement.
✔️ Involve and listen to your employees.
Imagine taking the time to dream up the "perfect" employee engagement strategy at the board or executive level only to introduce it to employees and find it's not at all what they want and that they're resistant to the changes you'd hoped to introduce.
Rather than waste time, ask your employees what they want, and involve them in designing the vision and strategy for getting those things accomplished. You'll save yourself time and frustration, and your employees will be invested in the process and outcome.
✔️ Hire a professional.
Lebron didn't go to school for exercise physiology, he's not a certified strength coach, and he didn't write his own training program. He's saved himself time, that allows him to focus on the areas in which he excels, by investing in the expertise of professionals.
He may have picked up pearls of wisdom and added to his knowledge along the way, though specialized instruction has certainly been of great value. Ask for help behind the scenes, and you and your employees will shine come game time.
Need Help With Your Employee Engagement Strategies?
My work in developing change leaders in organizations has significant focus on employee engagement. I determine baselines, perform gap analysis, and recommend change models, communication, training, and technology adjustments so you, like Lebron, can focus on the big show. Follow the links below to learn more and reach out to start a conversation.
Here's what to do next: ⤵️
I'm looking forward to talking with you soon!
David Bohmiller, MBA, MS (he/him/his)
Founder, CEO and Consulting Executive
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