Engaging Employees in a Time of Transition: Strategies for Boosting Morale and Productivity

Engaging Employees in a Time of Transition: Strategies for Boosting Morale and Productivity

Goodbye 2023, six weeks of 2024 are already over! But sadly not much has changed about the economic situations being characterized by insecurity and scarcity. Most companies are in a constant state of adapting and evolving to meet the market needs, which sadly means layoffs and redundancies across almost all industries. This results in many post-sales teams finding themselves in a period of transition, which can be challenging for both employees and organizations. During these times, it is more important than ever to maintain employee engagement to ensure that morale and productivity remain high, especially in your customer-facing teams.

What is probably going through the mind of your Customer Success Managers?

Transition can be a stressful and uncertain time for employees. They may worry about job security, changes to their roles or responsibilities, and the overall impact on the company. This stress can lead to decreased morale, decreased productivity, and even increased turnover.

Acknowledging the challenges and stress that employees may face during times of change and uncertainty is the very first step in overcoming them. 

“Doing more with less” is a term used everywhere to describe the new normal in many organizations are restructurings and layoffs. However this can be deeply affecting the remaining employees as it indicates they would have unused bandwidth left they can tap into, puts additional mental load on their shoulders and leaves the responsibility to cope with the additional scarcity solely on your team members. 

Fear of change is the most human reaction possible and it needs to be addressed with empathy and understanding.

Why focus on Employee Engagement when there are actual financial goals to be achieved?

Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin Group, famously stated “Take Care Of Your Employees And They’ll Take Care Of Your Business” and we are deeply convinced by the truth that lies in that statement.

Employee engagement is a crucial factor in achieving customer satisfaction and long-term business success. Engaged employees, who are emotionally committed and passionate about their work, consistently deliver exceptional customer experiences. This leads to increased customer loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, and ultimately, revenue growth.

Investing in employee engagement through fostering a positive work culture, providing growth opportunities, and recognizing achievements pays off in the form of higher employee satisfaction and customer loyalty.

This is especially true in your customer success department, where the expectations probably have increased significantly in light of the intensified focus on revenue retention over net new revenue. If you want to dive deeper into this topic, give our blog post on The Crucial Link Between Employee Engagement, Customer Satisfaction and Business Success a read!

Let’s take a deeper look at some strategies to foster resiliency through transitions

  • Communicate openly and honestly. We can’t overstate how important it is to keep employees informed about the changes that are happening and the reasons behind them. Obviously we all need to be aware of security concerns or restrictions on communication when it comes to sharing such changes, especially in a public company. But still be transparent about the potential impact of the changes for everybody, affected by the current reduction in force or not. HBR published a great guide on some communication principles to apply for success – Layoffs Are Painful. But You Can Communicate Them Compassionately.

  • Provide opportunities for feedback. Give employees a chance to share their thoughts and concerns about the changes. Even if they have no immediate influence on strategic decisions that have to be made, this will help you identify any potential problems and address them before they become bigger issues. And again, the power of being heard and seen can’t be overstated, when thinking about engagement. 

  • Focus on employee health & well-being. Provide employees with resources and support to help them cope with the stress of change. And this not just counts for the employees you have to sadly let go, who are immediately affected by the layoffs or transitions. But especially those remaining team members need to be taken care of and build a new level of trust with them. Forbes speaks about the concept of Layoff Survivor Guilt and cites that “74% of employees who kept their jobs during a corporate layoff say their own productivity has declined since the layoff”. This could include offering counseling, financial planning workshops, or wellness programs.

  • Celebrate successes. This sounds like an obvious one, but take time to recognize and celebrate the achievements of your remaining team members, even during times of change. This will help to boost morale and keep them motivated. And those wins don’t have to be huge, but also highlighting someone’s resilience and proactive attitude can make all the difference to them.

Long story short...

Engaging your employees during times of transition is crucial for maintaining morale, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Your customer facing teams will make or break your customer relationships navigating those challenging times. By communicating openly, providing opportunities for feedback, focusing on employee health & well-being, and celebrating successes, you can help your team navigate change and emerge stronger.

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