Before the pandemic, evidence suggested that many employees were not really engaged with their work/workplace/employing organisation.  The results of a lack of engagement are absenteeism, poor quality of work and a lack of concern for customer service.

So, what has happened during the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, engagement has not increased. It is difficult to maintain  engagement over distance …. but too manny firms have ignored this problem and made no real attempts to engage their employees with positive action .

As employees drift back to their places of work, some of this lack of engagement may automatically disappear … but it is a dangerous strategy to simply make this assumption. 

Re-establishment of positive engagement should start with the communications about returning to the workplace.  These, themselves, should be positive, thanking employees for their contribution if they have been working from home, or for their patience if they have been furloughed.  Previous relationships should  be re-established so employees feel comfortable and careful re-training provided in ceased employees have lost skills or confidence.

This also applies to supervisors and managers who must be made aware of the importance of a ’smooth’ return to work and to established working practices.