How To Keep Employees Engaged & Motivated During A Recession - Ad Culture

How to Keep Employees Engaged and Motivated During a Recession

5 min read | Oct 26, 2023
 Stephen Pedder- Ad Culture By Stephen Pedder

The past year has been a tough one for the economy. 

The post-pandemic skyrocketing of interest rates has posed significant economic challenges to Canadian businesses across all industries. It has also placed additional strain on their workers, whose jobs are at risk due to a rising unemployment rate of 5.7%

The looming (or perhaps already in progress) recession has forced many businesses to reevaluate their workplace culture. As such, many managers are wondering how to boost employee engagement and better take care of their people. 

Here’s the good news: we’ve got answers if you’ve been wondering how to keep your employees engaged and motivated despite tough economic times. 

Keep reading to learn more. 

Why Employee Engagement Matters During a Recession

Generally speaking, employee engagement is a measure of how happy and motivated employees are when they work. 

According to a report by Gallup, organizations with high employee engagement levels have 21% higher profitability, 17% higher productivity, and 10% higher customer ratings than those with disengaged employees. 

When you turn employee engagement ideas into action, you can also expect: 

Ultimately, engaged employees are more likely to work harder, smarter, and more efficiently, along with delivering higher quality products and services to customers—exactly what’s needed to persevere through a recession. 

Five employees in a discussion

4 Ideas on How to Boost Employee Engagement

While keeping employees engaged and motivated during a recession can be challenging, here are some steps we recommend you take:

1. Communicate Clearly and Frequently

You’ve probably heard the adage that “communication is key.” Well, it’s especially key when your employees may feel uncertain, insecure, and isolated. 

As the driving forces behind your team or business, employees need to know what is going on in the organization, what are the goals and expectations, and how they can contribute. Communicating clearly and frequently can also help them feel informed, involved, and valued, creating some much-needed psychological safety.

When you create psychological safety, your employees feel safe to take interpersonal risks, speak up, disagree openly, and voice concerns without fear of negative repercussions or pressure to sugarcoat bad news. 

2. Show Your Employees They’re Appreciated

Recognition and reward are powerful motivators for employees. 

Recognizing and rewarding your employees can help them feel appreciated, motivated, and loyal to the organization. These positive emotions are especially important during times when it can be easy to feel negative or get down on yourself. 

You can provide recognition and rewards to your employees using both verbal and non-verbal methods, such as praise, feedback, bonuses, and promotions. Don’t overlook any of these when trying to figure out how to boost employee engagement.

💡 Pro tip: Recognition and reward should be timely, specific, and meaningful, and reflect the company’s culture and values. For example, you can give them cash or non-cash incentives to celebrate their service anniversaries or special achievements.

3. Involve Your Employees in Decision-Making

Another one of the employee engagement ideas we recommend is involving them in your decision-making where appropriate and possible. 

So much of the stress associated with a recession is attributable to feeling helpless or that everything is out of your control. It can be easy to throw your hands up in the air and feel as if you have no power to influence your situation. 

When you provide employees opportunities to be heard, it can go a long way. Even if they don’t get what they want, feeling as though they had a say in what transpired is empowering and will improve employee engagement. 

Coworkers enjoy their break in a social environment

4. Be an Inspiring Leader

When learning how to boost employee engagement, perhaps the most important thing to remember is that it all starts at the top. 

You need to be a leader who is quick to encourage employees and guide the ship as you navigate tough economic times. If you appear ready to crumble when you hit tough waters, how can you expect any different from your employees? 

Making people love working for you is, of course, easier said than done. However, don’t forget that there is no such thing as a “perfect leader.” You’re going to make mistakes, navigate conversations poorly, and sometimes flat-out do the wrong thing. What matters is that you handle yourself with conviction and authenticity whenever you’re at work. 

Being a great leader is the best way to engage employees!  

Hire An Engaged Team With Ad Culture’s Help

Learning how to keep employees engaged and motivated is great, but navigating a recession starts with having the right people in the right seats to begin with. 

Ad Culture is a Toronto recruitment agency that specializes in connecting employers with engaged talent. We help you find the kind of talent who will stick it out during tough times, people who engage and motivate those around them. 

Contact us to learn how to boost employee engagement with great hiring! 

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