Business Growth and Employee Engagement in 2021

Are you ready to leave 2020 in the past and move forward into 2021? Me too! Your employees have been through an enormous amount of stress, doubt, fear, change and perseverance. Business growth has been a challenge and you’ve given everything you’ve got to maintain stability; professionally and personally. Next year will be better than the year before, but we’ll be well into the fall before life and work are recognizable as they were in 2019. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to have an edge over your competition, engage employees and retain the talent while growing business.

Communication will remain essential as your employees do their best to successfully navigate a world that has changed. Still feeling vulnerable, uncertain and not fully in control, they have shared during my many presentations a need for transparency; verbal, email, video – it doesn’t matter. What does matter, is your mindset and remaining employee focused. The benefits of doing so can include: less stress, business growth through great communication and higher productivity. Remaining employee focused makes sense and has been clear from participant Q&A at the 37 virtual presentations I did in 2020.

Conferences and organizations are focused on the future. Hybrid events, continued remote work for some staff, continued open communications, sharing of information and the “big picture” will be essential for solidifying employee trust.

Leadership should be singularly focused on individuals first and their team second. Here’s why.

Staff are worried about family, kids, parents, money, health, stress, job security and more and 2020 only made things worse. However, leading into 2021 you can help employees reduce fears by listening, assisting in whatever ways you can and letting them know that you are there for them. This makes a huge difference and will be seen as a positive. The benefits include higher retention, increased productivity and business growth. Plus, you’ll feel good knowing that you’re making a leadership decision that pays dividends year‐round.

Remember 2019?

I know, none of us do! It’s a distant memory. However, 2021 is going to be a combination of 2019 and 2020. So, as we awake from an unbelievably challenging year, we’re also poised for opportunity, development and growth. The advantage for businesses is that those who acknowledge the present and are aware of employees’ current needs will have a distinct advantage in retention, higher productivity and more. This leads to business growth and I like the sound of that. This includes flexible work hours, opportunities for development, training and listening. Your teams need to be heard. We all had our independence stripped away and it is slowly and thankfully going to be returned in the form of a life‐ saving vaccine. All of us are coming out of the most challenging year collectively of our lives. This doesn’t just end. It will take time for folks to adjust and an understanding workplace is essential to the mental and physical well‐being of its greatest assets — its workers!

Business growth and employee engagement in 2021 are going to require us all working together. Empathy, listening, sharing and caring must go both ways to achieve the goals you have set for yourself. And, you’ll be ahead of your competition, attract new candidates and grow a strong workplace culture. A win‐ win for sure. So, let’s remember the past, honor the present and take a deep, deep breath as we focus our attention on a positive, supportive workplace and watch engagement strengthen and business growth develop for years to come.