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5 Ways to Encourage Employee Engagement During a Crisis

In the last month, the coronavirus has turned everyone’s lives upside down and has driven our economy into what Bloomberg Economics is calling “the worst recession in generations.” United States businesses are reducing their force by the millions nationally, leaving many left to wonder, “Am I next?” 

You may be experiencing a combination of an office and remote-based workforce, but it is likely that your office-based business has abruptly moved to a remote working environment during this pandemic. Regardless of your current model, employees want to feel involved. When your team is working from different locations and on different schedules, keeping them engaged can be difficult. So the question becomes, “How do we drive engagement throughout the workforce during a time of crisis?”

5 strategies to help motivate and engage your workforce during a time of crisis:

  1. Be Transparent
    Transparency can be counter-intuitive, but during a crisis, everyone’s itching for any kind of information. Address any issues you’re currently facing, the last thing you want is negative speculation to circulate the company and affect productivity. Even if you don’t have all the answers to the issues, inform your workforce of what steps you’re taking to keep them safe and working. Your workforce will fill the airwaves with gossip/rumors if information is not provided regularly.
  2. Offer Flexible Working Hours
    Most of your employees are now juggling the role of working parent and teacher to their child(ren). Balancing work and life at home is a new daily struggle, and it’s important we respect these boundaries. Request that calendars are up to date to include “class schedules” or any other appointments that make them unavailable for work. This will allow your employees to compartmentalize work and life at home or even in the office and focus.
  3. Utilize Strong Internal Communication
    Metaphorically, and literally, keep an “open door” policy. Emails are effective but when working remotely, it becomes an outdated tool to reach out to team members. During “social distancing,” we’ve moved from having face to face conversations to utilizing a tool in which we can quickly ping a team member to share information.
  4. Recognize Employees’ Contributions
    Times are tough, but acknowledging your employees for staying positive and working through the crisis speaks volumes. Schedule a virtual happy hour with your team, send them a gift card to order lunch or dinner for their family, recognize a team for completing a project, and explore creative ways to make sure your employees feel appreciated.
  5. Reemphasize Culture
    With the shift of a split workforce, company culture takes a back seat and, in some cases, goes away completely. Schedule one-on-ones or team meetings to continue to build trust with your employees. Encourage brainstorming and creativity through solutions groups to assist with any concerns floating around the company. Make your team feel like they’re contributing to the purpose instead of tools. Go back to the basics and reinforce company values. 

For more information about engaging with your employees, contact Mandi Molinar at


futureAlign is a heart-centered communications and engagement company. We work with some of the largest companies in the world to drive effective communications, coaching and branding that leads to greater employee engagement and alignment. Click here to learn how we can align your team to the future that’s possible.

Mandi Molinar

Mandi Molinar

Mandi Molinar, Frontline Communications Manager
9 years experience in marketing communications for high-tech/hospitality, manufacturing and oilfield companies. BA in Communications

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