How to Keep Employees Engaged in a Hybrid Workplace

How can leaders keep employees engaged during extended COVID lockdowns?

During our latest Coach’s Jam Session, we examined the challenges and benefits of working in a hybrid workplace. Read on to learn how to keep your people motivated in times of uncertainty.

We discuss the importance of developing a supportive leadership style and understanding your employees’ needs. 

You’ll learn how to provide your people with a sense of belonging and foster professional growth.

Leveraging supportive leadership in times of uncertainty

The first step to keep employees engaged in uncertain times is to develop a supportive leadership style. Supportive leadership is all about empathy, decisiveness, and being in tune with your employee’s needs. 

As a leader, your responsibility is to provide a sense of stability in the workplace. Think of leaders as a lighthouse, a beacon of light employees can look to in turbulent times. 

While this may sound simple, there are a few challenges that come with this style of management.

First of all, everyone is experiencing the hybrid workspace in their own way. Your job as a leader is to understand your employee’s struggles and fears and provide a sense of safety. 

However, it’s essential to approach this not only at a team level but at an individual level too. 

Here is where the empathy piece comes in. You may be very well providing that sense of stability in the workplace. Still, that doesn’t mean employees necessarily feel that way when it comes to their personal lives.

By focusing on your employee’s needs at a personal level, you’ll provide a genuine sense of safety and stability in the workplace. 

Secondly, supportive leadership is also all about always keeping a strong sense of direction. When things are turbulent and uncertain, it’s essential to provide employees with a clear purpose.

As a leader, you need to encourage your team to keep goals and aspirations in mind. Reminding your employees that everyone in the organization is striving for success will reduce fear and uncertainty.

How to provide your employees with a sense of belonging 

Creating a sense of belonging by rewarding and appreciating your employees is vital for employee engagement. 

During turbulent times, it’s crucial to acknowledge your employees and their contributions. Even when it comes to low performers, you need to recognize the little wins. Taking this approach will help your employees develop a sense of belonging.

In times like these, you should also heavily promote team bonding. Sales can be a lonely job, and in a virtual workplace, this situation is exacerbated. 

Not only sales reps aren’t interacting with their clients as they used to. They’re often lacking interaction with their own team as well.

So, it’s a good idea to develop team-building activities to shift focus and provide some of that human interaction.

You could organize fun competitions where you can still focus on developing your employees’ skills. It’s a great way to foster friendly competitiveness while also promoting team bonding along the way. 

Adopting this strategy is your best bet if you want to lead your team through unpredictable times successfully.

Why uncertain times provide an excellent opportunity for development

The good news is that there is an upside to times of uncertainty such as extended COVID lockdowns.

If you think about it, it’s a fantastic opportunity to focus on your employee’s growth and development.

Sales reps have more time on their hands now than ever before, so it’s a good time to double down on training. 

So, leaders need to invest in their team’s growth and development. If there is some downtime, you should focus on building your team’s skills, behaviors, and competencies.

Times are changing, which means sales reps need to develop new skills to adjust to these changes effectively.

Fortunately, most organizations offer resources to learn about public speaking, leadership skills, and business acumen. Don’t hesitate to leverage these resources to invest in your team’s professional development!

If a particular employee has a specific professional development plan, you can help them use that idle time to start building that plan. 

Keeping employees engaged in a hybrid environment can be challenging. However, if you apply the techniques we discussed in this episode, you’ll be able to tackle any obstacle and lead your team to success!

Key Takeaways 

– How to keep employees engaged in a hybrid workplace (00:00)

– What teams look for in leader during uncertain times (01:56)

– The most essential leadership skill to develop in this situation (05:39)

– Understanding your employee’s needs (06:30)

– How to promote team bonding in a hybrid workplace (12:28)

– Why uncertain times provide an excellent opportunity for development (14:52)

Leadership Resources

How are the leaders at all levels of management tackling the toughest challenges each day? Learn more at: https://sartoleadershipgroup.com

About the author, Rob

Rob Fonte is the founder and President of Sarto Leadership Group, whose reputation has been built on being a transformational leader and inspirational coach with a passion for developing others. His twenty-year career spans across multiple disciplines including leading award-winning sales teams. Rob is an academically trained Executive Coach certified by The University of Texas and the International Coach Federation.