How are you engaging your employees during the pandemic to endemic workplace transition?
Pandemic to endemic: How will you engage your employees?
Our employees and organizations have been through a lot since the start of the pandemic. We now have the opportunity to reshape, reimagine, and reengage our workforce for long-term sustainability. Even SHRM recently mentioned that CEO’s need to turn their attention from COVID-19 topics to other areas like employee trust, employee recruitment, etc. (Smith, 2022). Determining and finding new ways to engage your staff will be an essential variable to the success of your organization. However, the interventions we would have taken to engage the workforce before the pandemic are likely different as we move away from the pandemic.
Through the lens of Human Resource Development (HRD), we continually innovate and strive for ways to unleash human expertise to impact organizational performance (Swanson & Holton, 2009). In the light of HRD, understanding and then implementing practices to increase employee engagement, we see a “higher number of employees working towards the mission, vision, and key performance indicators (KPIs) of the organization” (Hurtienne, 2021, p. 95). With increased employee engagement, organizations will witness increased levels of the three Ps: passion, productivity, and performance (Hurtienne, 2021, p. 95). This growth should also lead to innovation and an opportunity for competitive advantage (Hill et al., 2014). Therefore, let’s consider employee engagement as the amount in which employees are willing to invest in the organization’s success. (Hurtienne et al., In press).
Improving performance from pandemic to endemic
Organizations should look for new ways to evolve and improve performance by moving away from pandemic operations. Our organizations should consider changes in our processes for the benefit of the organization and the employees (Hurtienne, 2021).
Ideas to re-engage your workforce:
- Reimagine the work environment: Our response to COVID changed our work environment in ways we could have ever imagined. As you look towards the future, involve your workforce in the reimagination of the work environment. Engage and allow your entire organization to be innovative and supportive of the upcoming work environment.
- Evaluate and update the strategic plan: Each organization responded differently to the pandemic. However, as we move from pandemic to endemic, we must involve the organizational members in evaluating the current status of the strategic plan, and provide the employees the chance to recommend suggestions for improvement.
- Training and development: Many employees have been in survivor mode since the start of the pandemic. Take the time to provide the necessary training and development to move into a new phase.
- Determine networking opportunities and sponsor networking event: The pandemic haltered many opportunities to network and meet peers within our organizations. Start to determine ways and opportunities for employees to network across departments and communities.
Gallup, Inc. (2013, March). Engagement at work: Its effect on performance continues in tough economic times. https://www.gallup.com/services/176657/engagementwork-effect-performance-continues-tough- economic-times.aspx.
Hill, C., Jones, G., & Schilling, M. (2014). Strategic management theory: An integrated approach. Cengage Learning.
Hurtienne, M., Knowles, K., & Hurtienne, L. (In press). Application of participant photography: Methods, Benefits, and Ethics for HRD. European Journal of Training and Development., forthcoming.
Hurtienne, M. (2021). Framing your future through employee engagement. In Ramlall, S., Cross, T., & Love, M. (Eds.). Future of Work and Education: Implications for Curriculum Delivery and Work Design. Hershey, PA: IGI Global, forthcoming.
Smith, A. (2022, February 23). From pandemic to endemic: Revisiting changes due to Covid-19. SHRM. https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/coronavirus-pandemic-to-endemic.aspx
Swanson, R. A., & Holton, E. F. (2009). Foundations of human resource development (2nd ed.). Berrett- Koehler Publishers.
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