Employee Engagement in a Time of Crisis

BITCI News - May 13, 2020

On April 30th we hosted our third webinar as part of our ongoing series.The webinar, entitled ‘Employee Engagement in a Time of Crisis’, featured insights from Gillian McMahon, Head of Human Resources, BT Ireland and Amanda Johnson, Interim Director of People Success, RSA Ireland. Gillian discussed a survey BT Ireland conducted among employees to determine their engagement needs. She explained how everything BT does aims to ensure that employees feel calm, safe and supported, while ensuring continuity of service to customers.  A cross-company Covid-19 task force was established to update the MD about the latest Covid-19 developments. BT committed to no Covid-19 related job losses for 3 months. BT’s Group CEO also donated his salary for a period of six months. BT also ensured that one person was responsible for disseminating updates to employees. This ensured that employees weren’t being bogged down in fake news and misinformation, which can lead to ‘Covid fatigue’.

In terms of cultural policies, Gillian highlighted how a culture of trust is vital to remote and flexible work.

Some steps taken by BT:

  • Sharing business continuity plans – employees, customers, partners and suppliers
  • Enable a range of communications channels
  • Ensure staff remain informed
  • Share practical tips on working from home
  • Organise regular wellbeing webinars

Amanda Johnson, Interim Director of People Success with RSA Ireland, reiterated the importance of trust and how employee engagement should be underpinned by a business strategy that pushes a ‘people agenda’. This ensures that employees feel a sense of belonging.

Surveys among employees inform RSA’s strategy around people culture. RSA hosts ‘leader forums’ to reinforce value-led leadership. This ensures a sense of calm among employees.

The RSA has reduced email output among employees and instead focuses on the use of their social media platform, Yammer. Fun forms part of the RSA’s communications strategy. This comes in the form of competitions and exercises that engage employees. The fun element reinforces a sense of inclusivity among employees.

Being both flexible and focusing on employee well-being are vital components of the RSA’s strategy. The organisation has made their wellness training mandatory. The training ensures that employees are aware of the resources that they, and their loved ones, can avail of if they are struggling.

Check out the upcoming webinars.