Top 3 focus areas for CHROs to bolster Employee Engagement amid a Global Pandemic

A lot has changed even before we could say Jack Robinson.

A storm is on and companies around the globe are already battling it with full force to thrive amid the disruption.

Pandemics are not usual and ‘staying prepared for the unusual’ would be the way ahead for global organizations to stay resilient despite the chaos.

With a variety of emotions running high to ensure productivity, employees might show symptoms of getting disengaged and distracted. It becomes the sole responsibility of CHROs to take up the reins and work towards building strategies that would bolster employee engagement and productivity amid this global pandemic.

Let’s look at a few areas where CHROs need to focus on.

1. Creating a sense of clarity amid disruption

Setting clear objectives can be one of the foremost employee engagement drivers that in turn impacts employee productivity. Managers should concentrate on setting clarity while defining the org-level objectives of employees. Managers aligning employee activities in a manner they contribute to the org-wide goals can translate into superlative employee engagement. Employees who can see that their individual contributions are attributing to the overall growth of the organization where they work will tend to feel less anxious about their job security. Ultimately, this will pave the way for improved employee performance.

A direct link that exists between individual employee performance and achievement of the organization’s objectives will have a positive impact on employees’ confidence, irrespective of how challenging the environment is.

HR leaders should take up the role in enabling managers to gain complete visibility into the org-wide goals and pass on relevant updates so that they can translate the company’s vision into the employees’ activities.

2. Partnering with the C-suite

All the world needs now is a creative, innovative, and inspired workforce. Is this achievable? Of course, yes. Employees who have their mental and emotional needs addressed will contribute to such a workforce. With talent being a key performance differentiator, employee mental health and well-being remain as one of the most impactful factors that influence growth and productivity.

It is imperative that CHROs join hands with the C-suite, particularly at this time, to work collaboratively towards building a psychologically safe work environment for their workforce. For instance, the CHRO can get into a discussion with the CEO to find opportunities through which mental health stigma that might exist, can be broken down. It is also essential for the employees to frequently watch and listen to their CEO speaking about employee wellness. Ideally, HR leaders can encourage CEOs and facilitate virtual ‘all-hands’ meetings, written email messages, and other similar communications that revolve around employee health and well-being.

Let’s look at another instance. The partnership between CHROs and CIOs is equally important as the demand for technology and virtual interventions to support employee well-being has risen remarkably. At the fundamental level, HR and IT will be required to partner as a step towards ensuring wellness platforms and technology operate as expected. Strategically, CHROs should work with CIOs to find ways to leverage/build their own technology for the proactive identification of potential employee wellness issues.

3. Using recognition to acknowledge employee efforts

Effective recognition in any form can do wonders and enhance employee engagement and performance. CHROs who are instrumental in maintaining superlative employee engagement and productivity should look at talent management from an employee perspective.

Today, several companies across the globe have been tightening their belts through lay-offs, deferred offers, and slashing salaries to stay afloat. Layoffs, suspension of increments, and other performance-degrading strategies will create not only anxiety among the workforce but also a drag in employee engagement.

CHROs should use this black swan event as an opportunity to reinforce the organization’s maturity and assure employees that “We’re all in this together”. Hence, CHROs should involve themselves in meaningful discussions with the leadership team to find ways through which committed employees could be rewarded and honored as much as possible.

Wrapping up

While companies are finding better ways to handle this crisis, it becomes essential for CHROs to ensure employee engagement and performance are to the mark and on the upgrade. Companies that understand employee wellbeing needs and empower employees wherever possible would continue progressing even in challenging circumstances.

We hope we wade through this pandemic and bounce back to normalcy as soon as possible. Until then, let’s keep ourselves and our communities safe & connected and spread positivity throughout.

Are you interested to know more about the strategic initiatives that would help manage your global workforce in testing times? Do let us know. We are always listening.

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