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Employee Engagement Tips

April 16, 2020





Here are some employee engagement ideas to consider and tips that may be helpful as you plan to reopen:

Maintain communications – Keep it real and be human.

  • Maintain personal email addresses for both current and former associations in your secure payroll system and share updates at regular intervals. Messaging should be targeted, honest and carefully crafted with a caring and compassionate tone
  • Think about messages that contain what people might want to know, not just what you want them to hear. Provide guidance on state-specific benefits that might be available and how to apply for them if there are job or hours losses.
  • Encourage two-way communications by creating and manning a virtual suggestion box. Don’t just talk – make it crystal clear that you are listening, too.

Remember the silver lining – Be hopeful, yet realistic.

  • Most people hate uncertainty. Not knowing when centers will re-open, when work will return or what that work will look like is unsettling.
  • Share the Company’s plans for the future with concrete examples, not vague platitudes. It is time to abandon “crisis” mode and demonstrate your center’s resilience.
  • Recognize the role HR plays as the organization’s single voice. Tone and rhetoric matter – be thoughtful and reassuring.

Support those still employed – Don’t assume they are doing fine.

  • Work looks and feels different now; some have never worked remotely, others are part of a skeleton crew at a once bustling facility. Recognize their possible feelings of “survivor guilt”.
  • Stay in touch with these hardworking individuals. Share weekly updates that are honest and future-focused. Ensure communications are succinct and offer a way to reply.
  • Use digital / virtual tools and activities to connect employees who are no longer in the same physical space. Lighthearted polls, questionnaires and games that encourage sharing go a long way towards boosting morale.

Focus on the future – rally around a common cause

  • Start planning for reopening with center staff and their leadership who are still working.
  • Brainstorm to generate ideas for a phased “back-to-work” approach that meets public health guidelines, industry recommendations and member volumes.
  • Take time to correct pre-pandemic inefficiencies in operational processes. Use this time as an opportunity to hit the “reset” button.
  • Member health and safety has always come first in our industry. This focus won’t change and will likely become even more prominent.
  • How our centers operationalize member safety will be different. Rely on your center-based experts to provide realistic guidance and consider learning updated safety procedures from industries deemed essential that had remained open while your center was closed.

While our centers are closed, how you connect with your current and former employees is important. When you reopen, you will need your most important assets – your people – to get your centers up-to-speed quickly, safely and intelligently. If they know you care about them, they are more likely to feel connected to your center and to each other.