What is the best way to help employees feel more positive and engaged? 

Every company wants its employees to be happy and productive. Yet, with the world around them so uncertain, many feel worried, stressed and disengaged. In fact, according to a recent survey by Gallup on the state of the workplace, employee stress has been rising for more than a decade. Unease and disengagement don’t seem to be abating, and managers have been contributing to—rather than alleviating—stress on the job. Here are a few ways that organizations can begin to shift this trend.

Start planning for the future 

Many companies have spent years in reactive survival mode—triaging, mitigating and trying to stay in business. Now that the waiting game is over and the hardest decisions have been made, it’s time to reinvent long-term vision and goals, to shift from mitigation-only to future-forward action. What’s next for your organization? Finding new and interesting ways to answer this question can promote positivity and get your team excited about working towards a fresh challenge.  

Let employees be part of the change 

Everybody wants a chance to be part of the solution, and employees should play a role in the reinvention process—after all, few people know the business better. By asking their input—through surveys, assessments, focus groups, idea boxes, task forces and “town halls”—they’ll have an opportunity to think beyond today’s uncertainty and feel connected to the future of the business. Create idea incentives, take their input seriously, and let them weigh in on what concepts are most exciting. This will both encourage employees to think beyond today’s uncertainty as well as help them feel connected to each other and the future of the business. 

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Emphasize employee development 

As a new vision comes into focus, employees will benefit from the ability to seek out development opportunities that will be advantageous for both the company and their careers. Leaders can help their employees narrow down the skills and expertise they’ll need to help the company succeed down the line. 

Don’t forget your company purpose 

The need for purpose and meaning is stronger today than ever. Whether or not the company needs to overhaul its place in the world, every employee should understand the part they play in fulfilling that purpose. Concentrating on the future of the business and its people with renewed focus can help employees avoid burnout, transforming hopelessness into hope.  

Korn Ferry helps businesses around the world imagine a future vision for their workforce. Find out how we make change happen.