Maverick Thinking

Employee engagement: now is the time to act

13 April 2021 5 min read
Lorna Hopkins image
Written by

Lorna Hopkins

Mobas’ Head of Client Services, Lorna Hopkins, explores how the pandemic has seen the perception of employee wellbeing transform from a nice-to-have or luxury to an essential component of everyday corporate life. In this article, Lorna explores how the past 12 months has impacted the way we work and shares her learning from how businesses can drive for better employee engagement. 

The past 12 months has thrown more professional and personal challenges at people than ever before. Overnight, businesses shifted their operations to a remote working model and managers across the globe have faced the ongoing challenge of keeping employees motivated and engaged, all while over a screen. 

With the shift to more remote working, many companies have taken a new approach to employee wellbeing and culture-first initiatives to maintain cohesive and engaged teams. Businesses reprioritising their goals and reinventing what ‘good culture’ means to employees is one positive we can take from the last year. 

Working with a number of clients, and managing a team myself, here are some of my learnings from the past 12 months and how I believe businesses can drive for better employee engagement as we enter the new ‘normal’. 

  • Business has advanced digitally at an incredible pace of change which has helped companies become more efficient; however, people still need human compassion, appreciation and recognition. Finding the blend between emotional intelligence and technology is critical for employee engagement going forward, particularly as many companies move to a more hybrid work model.
  • A people-first culture can only truly be successful if every employee feels cared for and respected by everyone, at every level of the company. Investing in time for individual 1-2-1s, gauging regular litmus tests of how employees are feeling, employee surveys and being open to suggestions from everyone will help everyone feel like they have a voice. 
  • Some companies have adopted a more relaxed culture, making it known to employees that everyday home interruptions are just part of daily life. Other companies have directly offered employees the chance to tailor their working day / online availability to accommodate their non-work responsibilities while working remotely. This flexibility to support staff with their personal lives and support a greater work-life balance shows empathy towards each individual. 
  • Workplace wellness – spotting burnout in employees or when people are becoming disengaged. In a virtual world it’s easy to appear engaged for short periods of time, however it’s important to gain trust and have open communication with those in your team to have conversations about what can be done to keep them motivated. The mental health charity Mind has shared that more than half of adults (60%) and over two-thirds of young people (68%) said their mental health got worse during lockdown. Isolation, stress and anxiety are all issues that employers need to be aware of, taking a more personalised approach than a one-size-fits-all of broadcast messages. 
  • Having felt like the world has stood still for 12 months, there’s a hunger for career progression and opportunities to develop. People want to be in a job that helps them grow as an individual, personally as well as professionally. One way Mobas has done this is by putting strong focus on development of our people. Our internal CPD programme provides people the headspace to go and learn, develop new ideas and build their careers. 

At Mobas we’ve worked with a wide range of businesses delivering employee engagement campaigns, internal communications and brand alignment exercises. If you’re keen to invest in your team and ensure they fully understand your firm’s vision and purpose, get in touch with us today to find out how we can provide the tailored support your business needs.