The Velvet Hammer: 6.22.22

Q: Recently, I was promoted and now manage a sizable staff—all of whom I have good relationships and have worked with for years. However, I’m discovering a number of them feel restless and not quite sure of their future and may even resign, primarily due to the ongoing pandemic. Any advice to spark their engagement and regain their confidence?

A: A number of companies are experiencing similar side effects of the pandemic with their respective workforces. Those businesses which seem to be thriving are proactively addressing employee work-life balance issues and those with the most success have learned how to deal with what might be at the root of your employees’ malaise—worker burnout.

Keep in mind, in your quest to revitalize your team, it’s paramount that your program of work provides a realistic balance to meet your strategic business goals yet doesn’t overwork your staff as that is one sure way to run them out the door. Most importantly, listen and sincerely be sensitive to the needs of your team.

Creating a culture of understanding and clear-cut expectations and, again, taking the time to listen and address the needs of your staff can make all the difference in developing your staff’s level of contentment and security in their roles. That ladder of satisfaction cuts both ways with employees being more productive, engaged and feeling a greater sense of loyalty to the company.

Key research findings show employees with the autonomy to choose the preferred way of working—either at the office, from home or a combination—that’s best for them are happier and more content. However, research also indicates a real need for businesses to equip and train employees with the right digital tools to support hybrid work. Other concerns to shore up their confidence in your leadership and keep your team engaged should include:

  • Ensuring a safe, healthy environment for in-office work.
  • Providing them opportunities to use their skills and abilities.
  • Offering flexible hours whether working at the office or from home.
  • Giving recognition and praise for their accomplishments.
  • Allowing staff to make mistakes, and at the same time, resolving those mistakes or difficult situations effectively and expeditiously.
  • Showing sincere respect for their ideas, values and beliefs.
  • Fair compensation and creative incentive or reward programs —such as additional paid time off or health club memberships—especially for exceptional performance.
  • Allowing staff time to participate in volunteer opportunities to feel a part of their community.
  • Transparency and ongoing communications between staff and management to build trust and confidence in the business’ culture and code of ethics.

Bottom line: Addressing each of the previously listed concerns should help spark your staff to re-engage; however, for those remaining on the fence, the key to disrupting “The Great Resignation” is to make them and each member of your team feel truly valued.

Joan Lee Berkman is a marketing and public relations consultant. if you have a question for Joan, send it to


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