Our current, “tough” situation: It’s already quarter 4. This year, 2017, has been very challenging, a very difficult 10 months. And it seems that it’s getting ready to end the same way. We’ve all suffered through the devaluation of the Egyptian Pound, and the huge price hikes, with white-collar workers being hit very hard, and blue-collar employees even harder. Most, if not all, companies have increased their prices, some just to survive, some to keep their profit margins stable and others to take unfair advantage of a situation.
What are businesses doing to manage the situation? Some companies have adjusted their employees’ wages; some have given a one-time cost-of-living adjustment, or a travel allowance or other benefits. Some have allowed employees to work from home certain days of the week to decrease their transportation costs. And some may have done none of the above. Whatever you’ve done, under the current circumstances and with the predicted increase in the price of fuel in the near future, it isn’t nearly enough.
But let’s talk more about our people. When the national work climate is in a state of destabilization, hard to predict and goes on for an extended period of time, all kinds of strange or extreme “people” behaviours appear in the workplace. Employees become more stressed than normal because “tight” finances usually negatively affect the “home” relationship between spouses and being unsure of the future adds even more tension. Of course, employees take all those stresses to work with them, and people become less patient, less accommodating. We see more minor conflicts or at times even outright aggressive behaviour. Add to that the nature of mergers and re-organization projects and you can have so much change being generated that the situation becomes a great recipe for increased employee disengagement. Even during normal times, disengagement is a business risk. It can lead to lowered productivity, more overall mistakes, more safety incidents, less teamwork, slower outputs, lowered quality of products and services, and usually higher turn-over as the most marketable employees leave for better, more stable opportunities. The people who remain become even more stressed as they see their colleagues leave. Disengagement costs businesses a lot of money. How much employee disengagement are you experiencing?
4 Things you can do as HR Professionals to Battle Disengagement:
1. Really Listen
2. Keep your Focus
3. Show Confidence
4. Model Positiveness
The next 4 short articles in this series will deal with how to do just that. Look for them here.