8 KEYS TO EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT DURING THE GREAT RESIGNATION

by Jan 28, 2022Coaching0 comments

employee engagement during the great resignation: key signs of engagement and motivation vs signs of disengagement and demotivation

The ‘Great Resignation’ refers to the ripple effects of the COVID pandemic in which “employees re-evaluate their careers and leave their jobs in record numbers” (Chugh 2021). For companies, this can potentially cause not only a mass exodus of staff and the resulting shifts in structure, but the need to ensure employee engagement so those who did stay behind actually want to continue working for you.

It is crucial that these remaining employees are not forgotten about during this period of significant change. Especially from a risk management perspective, it is important for managers to pay as much attention to those loyal employees as to new starters so that they aren’t isolated. Essentially, managers need to make employee engagement a priority, the main focus for this blog.

It is necessary to understand the signs of (dis)engagement and (de)motivation so that you know what to look for in your employees’ working patterns and behaviour. This may also be reflective of your own personal experience from time to time. It can help to assess the reasons why previous employees left, to see if there are any areas of improvement in terms of engagement levels. These signs of engagement and motivation are important in overall staff wellbeing and productivity; the key ways in which to keep an engaged workforce are broken down below.

COMMUNICATION

  • Perhaps above all, communication is fundamental to employee engagement so they don’t feel left behind
  • You need to make sure that any changes are communicated clearly and in a timely fashion, and that there is consistency in the line of communication during new employee induction so that everyone is receiving the same messages

INVEST IN YOUR EMPLOYEES

  • Investing may be in the form of additional resources, training, and care to ensure your employees feel heard, valued, and that there is space for growth in their current role
  • By taking the time to actively listen to your employees’ needs and understanding what motivates them (& then actually taking action on this), you are investing in their personal development and establishing a more supportive environment in which your employee will be more confident and respected
  • Make sure all your employees have their own personal development plan; this may cover company objectives as well as their own personal objectives

MENTORING/COACHING

  • Mentoring refers to the sharing of knowledge, skills & experience to help employees develop & grow, whereas coaching concerns the sharing of guidance towards a specific short, medium or long-term goal (personal or business).
  • Discuss with your employees what form of mentoring/coaching would suit their personal and professional development needs, to determine more individually how those needs can be met and thus establishing a greater sense of connection and value. There is an area where coaching & mentoring overlap, and a number of employees will benefit from both.
  • From a Line Management perspective, how much are you mentoring and coaching your team – is there distance and disconnect? Or is there a sense of ‘over-mentoring’ in which your employee may feel they don’t have the space individually to progress  
  • Providing mentoring and/or coaching support for your existing employees will not only enable them to develop further within their role, but it will also reduce the potential for friction or gaps between them and incoming employees, who may also be receiving initial coaching and mentoring

CONSISTENCY

  • Leaders providing consistency with their existing employees is vital throughout the instability of the Great Resignation, as otherwise they may end up feeling further detached from their work if they are not receiving the level of attention, support and communication that they should be (especially if this treatment is being rerouted to incoming employees)
  • Consistency around personal and professional development is important to ensure that new and existing employees are receiving the same quality of treatment in terms of what the company is expecting of them

COMPETENCIES

  • Companies need to be clear about the set of behavioural competencies that they expect people to work by, making sure that message is really consistent and reinforced with existing employees – this creates an added expectation on the existing employees to role model
  • Having clarity over your expectations of your existing employees whilst bringing in new people is a means of keeping employee engagement levels high, providing those who stayed behind a greater sense of value by being tasked with role modelling  

TRANSPARENCY AROUND VALUES

  • As a line manager or a leader, you need to think about your personal values and what boundaries can’t be crossed. Role modelling that with your existing employees is crucial so that they know you follow through with what you say you will do and actually stand by the values you uphold
  • Transparency in your values also means authenticity because you are being true to yourself. This doesn’t mean you can’t adapt; sometimes you have to change your approach as a leader, but it is about maintaining transparency and clarity around that change that will keep employee engagement high.

ONBOARDING/INDUCTION

  • As your incoming staff will be receiving induction material and guidance, it is worth investing similar experiences into your existing staff for two key reasons: reducing collaborative friction, and providing transparency & consistency in the information you are sharing
  • ‘Re-inducting’ your existing staff will help to reduce collaborative fiction and increase integration as they will be involved in the induction process; this provides greater opportunity to set a positive, team-oriented atmosphere from the start
  • There have likely been many changes in induction content and information since your existing employees first joined (or perhaps they never had it), especially during the great resignation. It is vital that your existing staff receive this updated content; this means that they are not left behind or forgotten about, but rather feel connected and motivated to be part of the change

REDUCE COLLABORATIVE FRICTION

employee engagement during the great resignation: 8 keys to engagement
  • Especially during the great resignation, there is a lot of personnel change; collaborative friction can occur during this time when existing employees feel disconnected from incoming staff, especially if communication styles and structures of work are changing too
  • As you are effectively managing two sets of employees at different stages within your company, it is crucial to reduce collaborative friction wherever possible to create a more seamless integration so that everyone is engaged
  • There are 3 approaches you can take to reduce this: ‘away days’, teambuilding exercises, and psychometrics. To learn more about these different ways, reach out to our Red Tiger Coaching for more information on how to take these on and where we can get involved to help

These 8 factors are all connected as illustrated in the segments of engagement graphic, producing the most rewarding results when applied in tandem. Maintaining a combined approach and utilising all 8 keys when looking to keep your existing employees engaged, will ensure the most successful outcome through reduced attrition and boosted wellbeing, productivity, efficiency and ultimately, company success.

Chugh, A. (2021) What is ‘The Great Resignation’? An expert explains. World Economic Forum [accessed 30.12.21] Available from: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2021/11/what-is-the-great-resignation-and-what-can-we-learn-from-it/

Cover Photo by fauxels from Pexels

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Published by Steph Durbin

Steph is a co-founder of Red Tiger Coaching and is an internationally accredited Executive Coach, Boardroom Advisor & Psychometrist. Her background includes a breadth of industries and functions including Retail, Marketing, Strategy, Property Management and Transformation.

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