5 Ways To Drive Employee Engagement In Challenging Times

Your Opinion
Published: 19.12.22

No matter their size or industry, all companies must navigate rocky roads at one point. Sometimes, it’s a universal experience, like the Covid-19 pandemic. Other times, it may be unique to the business, like supply chain issues or losing a client.

Whatever the reason for your rough patch, it’s important to keep morale high and engage your team in these situations. Andy Weir, Cathcart’s Principal Consultant and Contracts Team Lead, shares his ideas to keep your employees happy and productive – not just when it gets tough but all the time!

1 – Be realistic

First and foremost, set realistic and achievable goals. Overwhelming your teams with impossible standards will only hinder motivation and harm employee wellbeing.

Targets should still align with company objectives, but they must also account for individual progress. Setting thoughtful goals like this provides clear direction for your team and helps each employee understand their contribution.

2 – Celebrate daily wins

Recognising your employees’ hard work is a key factor for boosting productivity and dedication, so don’t just reserve this recognition for the big wins.

One way of approaching this – and it ties neatly into my above point – is to break down bigger targets into smaller, more attainable goals. Then, whenever your team passes one of these checkpoints, you can reward them for their efforts. It’s a simple and effective way to show appreciation and build confidence.

3 – Reframe the word ‘no’

In any setting, the word ‘no’ can deflate employee engagement. And when you’re on the receiving end of a ‘no’ in a client relationship? It can really knock the wind out of your sails.

But the way you deal with rejection makes you better at your role. So, teach your employees to shift their approach: a ‘no’ could actually reveal new and unexpected opportunities. For instance, today, some of my best and most loyal clients are the ones who initially rebuffed our services. Your employees would do well to remember that timings, circumstances, and partnerships change – there’s always a second chance.

4 – Organise social activities 

When employees enjoy coming into the office, they’ll be more likely to do their best work. That’s why fostering a warm, welcoming environment where everyone feels comfortable and supported is essential.

One of the top ways to do this is to arrange social activities – for instance, team building exercises to encourage collaboration, or events outside work like drinks and games nights. Every year at Cathcart, the whole team comes together for a weekend away with colleagues and family – spent relaxing, indulging in plenty of delicious food, and generally having lots of fun in a stunning countryside location.

5 – Maintain a positive outlook

Last but not least, it’s no secret that positivity leads to productivity. And, as I outlined above, workplace enthusiasm means collaborating with colleagues, hitting targets, and recognising great work.

Beyond positive feedback, though, you should look for other ways to improve employee wellbeing. This might look different for each individual, but could include extra training, coaching, or even more flexible working hours.

Speak to the experts

At Cathcart, we’ve made it our mission to advance tech teams with top talent. But that’s just part of our commitment to your growth. You can also count on us to fine-tune your approach to staff retention, helping you attract long-term placements that ensure you hit your goals well into the future. Get in touch to find out more.


Andy Weir Selfie

Principal Consultant

Andy Weir


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