Discuss the Impacts of the Pandemic

2020-2021 is a time we won’t soon forget. The COVID pandemic and trauma related to systemic racism changed life as we know it. Because of these things, the ways in which we work have also changed requiring us to discuss the impacts of these events on our workplace engagement. 

Acknowledge the Past

Rewind Icon with text "Talk about what was happening around the time of the 2019 survey"

Supervisors received their 2019 Employee Engagement Survey results in January 2020 and were getting ready to take action when the pandemic began. Very quickly, nonessential workers were required to work remotely and priorities dramatically shifted. 

Your 2019 Employee Engagement Survey data has value.

The beginning of the pandemic was a turning point for the entire world; use your 2019 Survey data as a point of reference for how engagement was before the pandemic as compared to today. 

If you didn’t receive a report ask your leader for the engagement survey data that includes your team.

Understand the Present

pause icon with text " Explore how the pandemic has affected engagement."

You can’t get to where you want to be without knowing where you are. Hold discussions to understand how the pandemic has affected engagement since the survey.

  • Ask for input about what was happening at the time the survey was administered that contributed to their feedback. What’s similar? What’s different? What actions can be taken to make improvements? 
  • Use this discussion guide to help prepare for and facilitate your conversation.
  • If you have Employee Engagement Survey data, this guide has suggestions for discussion questions specific to areas of engagement you may choose to focus on. 

Input from your discussions will help you understand how to support your employees beyond the next phase of the pandemic.

Plan for the Future

Fast Forward Icon with text "Make plans for the future, but make them flexible."
As the vaccine becomes more widely available there is a sense of cautious optimism. We can begin to think about things like increasing numbers of faculty and staff returning to work on campus and more classes being held in-person. As you move forward in your engagement work, do so with a sense of hope grounded in reality.
  • Make plans, but make them flexible knowing that they will likely have to be adjusted as the situation continues to evolve. 
  • Begin to anticipate how the work environment and the dedication of your faculty and staff will change in the end stages of the pandemic. What will need to change to support them? What will need to stay the same? 
  • Continue to check in with your team often.