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Chapter 2

Why COVID-19 Made Employee Engagement Even More Important

Employee engagement is high on the agenda for successful businesses.

No matter what your business has been through (or is going through) in the midst of a pandemic, engaged employees remain at the heart of every successful company.

An engaged workforce can support rapid recovery and innovation for businesses, even as employees adapt to new remote, flexible and socially-distanced workplaces.

The importance of employee engagement in a post-COVID-19 environment cannot be understated. Leaders have an opportunity to create the environment for employees to feel connected, recognised and supported by doubling down on their mission and making employees feel closer than ever to their organisation’s 'why.' And for organisations that are paying attention to how they treat their people, employee engagement is on the rise.

Recent research from Willis Towers Watson found that 90% of companies surveyed believe their culture improved during COVID-19, while 83% believe their employee experience is better. HR isn’t far behind, with 63% of HR professionals surveyed believing their organisational culture has improved.

The foundation has been set, in many organisations, but it’s up to leaders everywhere to keep the momentum going and make their business even stronger in a post-COVID-19 era.

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employee engagement in post-covid-19

Leaders can continue to improve employee engagement through: 

      • Ensuring their people feel connected to their organisation (and to one another) even amidst a shift to virtual and remote work, which will continue to be more commonly practiced.
      • Helping employees understand how their (potentially changing) roles and day-to-day contributions deliver value, especially to the business’s priorities and future sustainability.
      • Supporting employees by creating a safe space for concerns around mental, financial and physical health.

the importance of employee engagement

The link between employee engagement, morale and productivity

Employee morale applies to the overall outlook and attitude of your workforce. In an ever-changing environment, morale can turn overnight if not nurtured and cared for by the business. If your people feel appreciated and supported by their company, they’re more likely to work smarter (and harder) to benefit the business. On the flip side, leaders who don’t address morale issues will see decreased productivity and a negative effect on customer experience. 

During the COVID-19 pandemic, where employees were faced with worries such as health, safety and job security, employee morale continually became a concern for companies. About six in 10 remote workers identified 'blurred boundaries' between work and home as an additional challenge, with distractions at home and difficulty switching off. 

HR leaders who will see their businesses come out on top are focussed on creating new and sustainable employee engagement practices that will reinvigorate their top performers, and create the environment for a more engaged, thriving workforce. 

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