As any business leader worth their salt will tell you, an organisation’s employees are its most valuable asset. Often, a company’s success will hinge on its workforce. Staff retention, talent attraction, productivity and organisational culture are some of the most critical factors in cultivating a successful business. As such, it’s in the best interest of business leaders to ensure that their staff remain both engaged and fulfilled in the workplace.
For this reason, achieving consistently high staff engagement is even more crucial to being a business leader post-pandemic, as SF Recruitment can attest to. Best Companies has named the Midlands specialist recruitment firm the 18th best small company to work for in the UK, marking a second consecutive top 20 finish. The agency also placed as the number one Midlands-based recruiter to work for.
However, as the pandemic has recently proven, nine-to-five lifestyles are a thing of the past. The modern worker’s needs are not the same as they were a year ago, with flexibility now a core consideration. As such, it’s critical that businesses take effective precautions to ensure employee satisfaction and engagement remains high amid this paradigm shift, with millions more now working from home. With that in mind, here are nine key tips to maintaining staff engagement post pandemic.
In any workplace, it’s essential that staff feel they are able to communicate with management, no matter the size or nature of the query. This will be especially important post-pandemic, with many working remotely. Keeping an open communication line can help assuage feelings of isolation in employees, particularly those who aren’t able to come into the office. By reinforcing the notion that it’s ok to ask questions, it can also help to drive self-improvement in staff, which is a key element of workplace growth as a whole. Remember to reach out to everyone, or organise your leadership team to. Feedback frameworks or simple scheduled calls are a sure-fire way to ensure the organisation feels connected from top to bottom, and that every employee gets to have their water cooler moment with the leaders of the business
When working in an office job, it’s very common that the physical side of an employees’ wellbeing suffers as a result. This can also have a knock-on effect for workers’ mental health, with a sedimentary lifestyle adversely affecting motivation and concentration. For this reason, it’s especially important that businesses take precautions to ensure that their staff’s physical health does not deteriorate due to work. SF Recruitment, for example, recently offered free branded gym wear to all of its employees to encourage them to get active. Gym discounts, sports days and app-based step competitions are also all good ways to encourage people to embrace their personal health.
As crucial as it is to make sure employees’ physical health is nurtured, it is equally important to ensure that their mental needs are looked after, too. Truly flexible working schedules are an easy way of allowing staff to minimise stress levels and manage their lives without inducing anxiety. Providing access to platforms like Headspace, as SF Recruitment have for all employees, offer a medium for staff to unwind via guided meditation and relaxation sessions to promote good sleep and mindfulness. SF Recruitment has also run a number of successful group meditation sessions in all of its offices, while it also offers anonymous counselling and financial advice.
A key aspect of keeping work engaging is to let loose and have fun once in a while. Company challenges can often be established at no cost to the organisation, and offer an opportunity for staff to bond with each other while encouraging an aspect of healthy competition. After such a challenging year for everyone, it’s vital to bring people together to smile and laugh. SF Recruitment regularly hosts challenges, such as step competitions and selfie games, which are incentivised with prizes. There’s a limitless number of creative ways to have fun, so it’s important to make a continued effort to boost team morale.
By striving to make the workplace a meritocracy, a clear precedent is set that hard work is rewarded. If employees feel their efforts aren’t being reflected by their employer, there’s simply no incentive to do any more than the absolute minimum. By commending employees based on their input, the playing field is levelled for all, allowing the opportunity for progression for anyone who works hard enough. Signing up to schemes like Enjoy Benefits offers a number of ways to reward employees outside of just their pay packet. After all, if you go the extra mile for them, they’re more likely to go the extra mile for you.
With many employees planning to return to the office full-time this year, it is vital that office settings are suitably equipped for their return. Creating a safe, productive workspace is the best way that companies can ease their workforce back into office life. SF Recruitment has ensured that its offices are revitalised by relocating to modern facilities that are more in line with the demands of flexible and hybrid working. The integration of touchdown tables, standing desks, phone booths and a pool table enables employees to feel more relaxed and comfortable at work, in turn facilitating productiveness and complementing a hybrid working arrangement. Perhaps it’s time to spruce up your interiors and rethink usage of space?
When relationships between colleagues transcend the workplace, it creates a powerful sense of loyalty that encourages employees to do that little bit extra for both one another and the business. Being surrounded by friends can make the office a more positive place to be, and can benefit attitudes to working as a whole. Moreover, fostering a sense of community can help employees feel more connected to their jobs. Perhaps you can encourage small group trips for lunch, like bowling or the cinema. Charitable working days also offer the chance to give something back while strengthening team bonds in the process.
The most effective way to ensure stress levels remain low is to simply make your employees’ lives easier wherever possible. SF Recruitment has recently upgraded its website and CRM system with integrated forms to record details, ID and achievements from prospective candidates. This allows it to automatically upload information to the system, significantly reducing the administrative burden on consultants. However, not every change has to come at a cost. It’s often possible to reduce the strain on employees by cutting out unnecessary tasks to lighten their workload. Perhaps it’s time for a review of company procedures, to see what processes really are necessary?
Sometimes, just a few words can go a long way. Saying “thank you” is one of the simplest things an employer can do, but the benefits of doing so can be surprising. With just two words, you’re letting an employee know that their efforts are recognised and that you’re grateful for their contribution. Handwritten postcards from leadership can go a long way. A surprise Zoom call from the boss perhaps? Maybe a gift card, to allow that member of staff to spend some quality time with their family – at a restaurant, theatre or cinema. As we plan to come out of one of the most challenging periods of our history, such a gesture shows workers that they’re valued and incentivises them to remain just as productive in future.
If you would like to download the full pdf, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org asking for the 'Nine Ways to Boost Staff Engagement Post-pandemic' advice pack.