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Keeping Employees Engaged During A Looming Recession Between the pandemic and the looming epidemic

Between the pandemic and the looming epidemic slump, your team's morale is tested to its limits. Before long, you will find your employees being barely productive. What steps can you take to ensure your employees continue to remain motivated and productive, especially when increasing expenses is out of the question? After all, leadership is all about improving individual and collective employee engagement.

The best way to start is to study the facts. What is stimulating this declining morale and productivity? 2021’s Great Resignation can deliver some answers. A report published studied the top reasons why US workers left their jobs. While 63% stated "low pay" was their reason for quitting, 63% also stated that they "saw no opportunities for advancement." Similarly, 57% claimed they "felt disrespected at work."

We can conclusively say that employees felt they were underpaid but also felt disrespected at work and neglected by the people in charge. So, it’s no surprise they decided to leave their jobs. This can further diminish the morale of your entire team. But as the manager, you can help turn things around before you see people jumping ship.

5 Ways To Keep Your Employees Engaged During A Looming Recession

Loyal, hardworking employees are what your organization needs if you hope to get through rough patches. And your role as a manager is significant in determining how employees can continue to be hardworking.

In the light of the information we just shared, we have also calibrated 5 ways you can keep your employees engaged, especially with a looming recessionary period.

1. Appreciate the Small Wins

Times of recession can be gloomy enough, but that shouldn't put a damper on your office proceedings. Learn to identify and appreciate the small wins. Has someone in your office succeeded in making a large sale? Has someone completed a training program? Or has someone delivered a new idea? These are small wins and should be celebrated like any other win.

To understand why this matters, let’s delve into the human psyche. By acknowledging small wins, you stimulate the brain's reward circuits that release chemicals that trigger feelings of pride and happiness. Such employees look forward to making even better achievements as they are encouraged.

Besides, it's the small wins that help push you forward to your end goals. Acknowledging such wins also establishes that although you didn't achieve your end goals today, you are closer to them than you were yesterday.

Of all the things that can boost inner work life, the most important is making progress in meaningful work.

Teresa Amabile, Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School

A research project published by Harvard Business Review in 2011 verified this exact principle. It discusses how people with positive inner work lives are more creative and productive and how small wins can tremendously boost positive inner work life. Large wins are rare to come by, but consistent small wins can evoke positive reactions in your employees and encourage them to be more productive.

Also, if managers fail to recognize these wins, it is against their value and role. To avoid this, give your employees their due acknowledgment.

2. Offer Professional Growth Opportunities

During times of recession, your employees may feel like their professional growth has grown stagnant. To build resilience in uncertain times, you should encourage your employees to continue working on their professional development. Of course, recessions often lead to strict budgets, lower raises, and promotions. But this shouldn’t hinder your employee's career growth.

Luckily there are plenty of ways you can provide professional growth opportunities without going over budget. You could:

  • Use low-cost or free resources online, such as video tutorials, guides, and software. Sites like Lynda and MediaBistro are great for finding tutorials and courses on all types of skills.

  • Have a veteran employee act as a mentor for newer employees to keep them engaged and provide them with critica