When an organization or team is on the upswing, growing, and with a bright future, employees typically reflect the positive vibes. They are part of a successful team and are focused on and satisfied with their jobs. But what about when the organization is facing hard times…is it possible to keep employees engaged?
Employee engagement training experts say that, though more difficult, it is indeed possible.
- First you must be open and honest as you describe the situation.
You cannot pretend that all is well; nor should you protect your employees from the truth. Invite their questions and answer them in a straightforward way. Tell them what you know, what you do not know and when you will share more. Otherwise, inaccurate and harmful rumors will fill the knowledge gaps.
- Next, create a goal that employees can subscribe to.
The organization may be on a downward spiral but that does not mean that the team has to accept defeat. Perhaps they can support a goal of reversing the trend, getting a few small wins, cutting costs, changing approaches or proving the naysayers wrong. Make sure that the goal is just possible to motivate the troops to make it happen.
Employee engagement is more difficult and more important when things are not going according to plan. Done right, employee engagement initiatives increase employee advocacy, discretionary effort and retention. Done wrong, dis-engaged employees can make things worse.