To keep your employees engaged through this time of extreme uncertainty, leadership is crucial. Employees are looking to their leaders for timely information and decisions they can trust. HR can support leaders by coaching them on the best practices we know drive employee engagement.
Senior leaders need to provide a clear rationale for their key business decisions. For example, why are the offices being kept open or closed? What are the performance expectations of employees working from home? Why are yesterday’s decisions being reversed today? Help senior leaders apply these four best practices when communicating decisions.
- Make it timely. Inform employees of decisions as soon as possible and give frequent updates.
- Be consistent. Ensure leaders across the organization are giving the same rationale for decisions.
- Encourage two-way dialogue. Make space to listen to employees’ concerns. They need to feel heard.
- Be open and honest. Be transparent with the information you have and be honest about what you don’t know.
Managers at all levels can also influence employee engagement. McLean & Company’s 3i Model of Engaging Leadership provides a framework for managers to follow.
- Keep employees informed. Managers play a key role in communicating decisions from senior leadership.
- Spend time interacting with teams. Managers should understand their employees’ concerns, experiences, and needs.
- Involve employees in problem solving. Managers don’t have to have all the answers.
McLean & Company has resources to support HR and leadership.
- Offer senior leaders practical steps to improve in four key areas: sharing rationale for decisions, acting on feedback, building trust, and inspiring employees.
- Share with managers the three most important actions they can take to improve employee trust and improve engagement: inform, interact, and involve.
- Communicate clearly and frequently with internal and external stakeholders. Ensure calm by reinforcing the facts and letting employees know you are prepared. Be transparent.