Global Pandemic Employee Engagement Best Practices for Manufacturing Employees

Global Pandemic Employee Engagement Best Practices for Manufacturing Employees

Below are five steps that could be taken to engage manufacturing employees during a global pandemic.

  1. Design a tailored engagement plan
    Put a special focus on the experience of manufacturing employees and site leader engagement with the goal of keeping employees safe and operations going for customers, patients and communities during this difficult time. Consider developing a site leader network to share best practices.
  2. Conduct a site audience analysis
    Map out what you want key site audiences to know and see to motivate them, what you want them to feel to evoke and inspire the desired action and what you’re asking them to do differently.
  3. Develop a multi-pronged communication strategy
    Develop theme and key messages to build confidence through the change required to advance to the new normal. Provide continuous support, phased over time to ensure focus on what matters most. It’s critical your theme and messages be both emotional and rationale and leave employees feeling safe, appreciated, proud and inspired.
  4. Identify relevant engagement and activation ideas
    Design tools to empower site leaders, to support employees through disruption and change and to minimize anxiety, and build trust. Sample engagement ideas could include:

    • Site leader change communication training
      Launch an approach to effectively build change communication skills for site leaders. Provide skill-building tools and resources for topics such as:
    • Maintaining Momentum & High Performance
    • Leading Team Meetings & 1:1 Conversations in Times of Uncertainty
    • Acting on Employee Feedback to Reduce Stress
    • Encouraging Healthy Boundaries; and/or Rewarding and Recognizing Employees in Thoughtful & High Impact Ways
    • Fighting Isolation by Building Stronger Connections


    • Site leader toolkits
      Design toolkits with short, interactive exercises including template notes, town hall slides, talking points, conversation guides and engagement materials for leaders to customize and use locally. Create a mechanism for leaders to submit success stories to share across the company.
    • Brief newsletter
      Write, print and distribute regularly providing site employees with the most up to date company news with tips or short bits of information that employees can take action on.
    • External microsite
      Architect a one-stop shop for site employees to access company news and information accessible from their personal devices.
    • Thank you series
      Design customizable posters, slides and note templates such as: hand-signed individual thank you notes from site leaders recognizing their employees, as well as their families or hand-signed digital or physical posters from headquarter executives publicly recognizing teams and sites.
    • Executive team open mics
      Host executive team calls or meetings periodically to inform site employees on critical topics, allow for Q&A, and help determine pressing topics for site leader toolkit updates.
    • Theme hashtag on internal social networking site (e.g. Yammer)
      Encourage employees from across the company to submit selfie signs of theme hashtag and words of appreciation for site colleagues.
    • Video series
      Use videos internally and externally on social media to publicly thank site colleagues for their hard at work at your operations around the globe.
    • Interactive connection series
      Use free services such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Skype, etc. to host virtual coffee hours or family share hours that give employees the opportunity to connect with others across the organization.
  5. Gather feedback and take action
    Collect feedback on how your engagement activities are received and adjust your plan as you go. Consistently acknowledge that you have heard and received employee feedback/input/suggestions and show you have taken action through plans, tactics, strategies, etc. that have been put in place.

    • Thank your employees for providing feedback/input/suggestions/concerns
    • Communicate the actions that are being taken to address their input (e.g. newsletters)
    • Share survey results and the strategies or plans you have developed to address
    • Provide timelines, where applicable, so employees know you are working to continuously improve