Five top tips for employee engagement in the New Normal

HR ADVICE: As businesses are beginning to veer away from full-time remote work, the prospect of returning to offices is becoming more and more likely.

Still, after two years of working from home, this can be daunting for many professional employees,. Moving forward in the post-pandemic world, keeping employees engaged and motivated will be a key challenge. Here are five top tips to start revitalising the office setting as staff embrace their return back to the workplace.

1. Update the working environment

The workplace will never look as it was before, and companies must be keen and ready to adapt. HR leaders can start with digitizing operations and providing tools that will allow flexibility. Employees should also be given something to look forward to, be it a ‘breakout’ area where they can work away from their desks or a free subscription to apps that may enrich their lives outside the office.

2. Rebuild employee engagement

A lot of staff felt the fatigue that comes with working from home, and that has affected employees’ productivity. To help team members with burnout, invest in improving company culture. Leaders may want to plan social events and development programs as a means to build and improve relationships among employees and keep track of everyone’s mental health.

3. Help establish healthy routines

It is now commonplace to see thermal scanners and hand sanitisers everywhere, but companies must go the extra mile to make their employees feel that they are in a safe and healthy environment. To do this, HR leaders can introduce ideas like meeting-free Fridays to help employees manage weekly workloads, or provide activity trackers to nudge healthy behaviours.

4. Foster healthy competition, and give recognition

Setting a benchmark for performances and rewarding those who can meet targets is a good way to motivate employees and boost engagement after a long period of remote work. Stirring up competition could also encourage members to give their best and generate new ideas, knowing that their efforts will be recognized.

5. Make the office an incentive

A lot of employees have become cold to the idea of working on-site, to the point that others would rather quit if they are not given the option to work remotely. Some companies have offered stipends to encourage employees to get out – be it a travel allowance, gym membership, or free meals on a given day of the week. Others allow flexible arrival and departure times or have anchored performance based on outputs more than time logs. The idea is to make offices more inviting, not more restrictive.

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