Managing in a Post-Pandemic Environment

January2021Blog

Managing a remote workforce has not made things easier during the pandemic. A great manager may mean an even more engaging experience for an employee; a bad manager may see their staff actively disengage. For managers in a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, new skills and tactics may be necessary.

Companies facing the toughest challenges are those in a mixed environment: some departments are going gangbusters and doing well while others are struggling for work to do or are running at a loss. The old, traditional performance metrics are not going to work in this environment. Gallup suggests that performance management systems must be adapted to be more collaborative and individualized, and oriented from a “coaching” perspective.

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A remote work environment requires different skills than many managers (and many employees!) may have mastered. Setting clear expectations and providing consistent and regular feedback is critical. Employee incentive, reward and recognition programs are on every list of ways in which to engage employees yet are not in every manager’s skill set. Partnering with an experienced Incentive Professional will ensure that your program is properly designed. Effective employee programs provide clear objectives and expectations that serve as a roadmap for employees, and offer rewards that are motivating and appropriate for your particular audience.

Organizations that started the year with an incentive, reward or recognition program have most likely found that the goals set at the beginning of 2020 no longer make sense. A well-designed employee program allows for adaptations as necessary throughout the program. A bigger mistake would be to eliminate the program altogether during a pandemic or other unstable environment; this is the time when employees need feedback and recognition more than ever.

Few managers are born; most must learn the skills on the job. There is often time for this learning curve when business is good and your workforce is highly engaged already. During a pandemic or when employees may already feel insecure about their company’s future and how to carry out their own responsibilities in this new environment, managers need every tool in their toolbox.

Contact us today to discuss how to design a new program or adapt your current employee incentive, reward or recognition program. An effective program that trains your managers, clearly communicates your priorities and sets specific objectives for employees will increase engagement, retain your key talent and ensure your organization’s post-COVID success!

 

In economic terms, the multiplier effect refers to the proportional increase or decrease in final income that results from an injection or withdrawal of capital. In terms of Safety Reward Programs, the multiplier effect might refer to the ROI² (Return on Incentive Investment). A properly structured program significantly impacts overall employee engagement and safety culture, where employees are attuned to safety-related issues, inspired to display “Above & Beyond” safe behaviors, willing to be safety ambassadors, and encouraged to promote learning and support continuous improvement. Such best-in-class programs are designed to promote group objectives and reward individual behavior, engaging, motivating, and rewarding the people behind your success.
 

Fortunately, there are thousands of companies in high-risk industries that have excellent safety programming, training, and coaching in place. Many include safety in their list of core values and have invested heavily in EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) technology, training, telematics, and personnel. However, too many miss the opportunity to incentivize and recognize individual safety contributions, behaviors, and performance.
 

Programs featuring tangible and experiential awards as the reward currency can have a multiplying effect that pays dividends. Benefits include a more highly engaged workforce, fewer accidents and incidents, reduced claims and losses, lower turnover and absenteeism, better communication, increased productivity, visibility to leading and lagging indicators, incremental coaching and training opportunities, and improved profitability.
 

So, what’s the rub? Are engagement programs focused on employee safety, health, and wellness expensive to implement? Do they only make sense for companies with thousands of safety-sensitive workers? The answer to both questions is no. Properly structured programs can be cost-effective and right-sized for companies with as few as 100 safety-sensitive workers up to those with 10,000 or more. The ROI² of these programs can be expressed as a ratio (in this case, 4:1), with quantitative results showing a savings of $4.00 for every $1.00 invested and qualitative results revealing higher employee morale, which serves as a catalyst for productivity. Safety Reward Programs help to mitigate risk, elevate employee engagement, and improve overall safety culture. They also present an excellent opportunity for companies to simply say thank you to their employees for being safe, committed, and engaged.
 

People have an inherent need to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed. Safety Reward Programs provide the stimulus and energy that encourage employees to perform at their best and achieve new heights.

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