Guide to Employee Engagement: Action Steps for Employees

The following action steps provide ideas to help keep employees engaged while they safely distance on campus or work away from “the office”:

  1. Take care of yourself and encourage others to do the same.
  2. Take care for one another.
  3. Prioritize communication.
  4. Find work-Life balance.
  5. Stay connected with UO.

1. Take care of yourself and encourage others to do the same.

Before you can take care of other people, you must first take care of yourself.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, avoid touching your face; cough/sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve; disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces, etc.
  • Get adequate sleep and exercise.
  • Take a lunch break and other breaks throughout the day - go for a walk around the block, get fresh air, play with your dog!
  • Be mindful of your emotional wellbeing and seek support, as needed. Visit the Work-Life section of the HR website for resources and more information.

Here’s how to take further action:

  • Self-awareness: monitor your stress level and seek out coping strategies.
  • Get moving: movement and motion, even in small doses, reduces stress.
  • Keep your sense of humor: laughter can be the best medicine.
  • Rest up: sleep is a critical pillar of a healthy lifestyle.
  • Prevent illness: healthy eating and following CDC guidelines are great strategies to preventing illness.

2. Take care for one another.

Demonstrate grace, kindness, and forgiveness of yourself and others in this challenging time. While we are all in this together, we are all facing very individualized challenges. We are all doing the best that we can and need to support each other without judgement.

Here’s how to take further action:

  • Protect the pond – Looking after the flock: Health and safety regulations for face coverings and symptom self-checks.
  • Demonstrate kindness and forgiveness.
  • Educate yourself and stay informed.
  • Promote respect.

3. Prioritize communication.

You feel more engaged when you feel like you’re part of a team. When working from home or safely distancing in-person, it can be hard to remember that you are not alone and that you are part of a team. Some ways that you can help foster a sense of community while maintaining social distancing:

  • Communicate often with colleagues and with your supervisor. Offer support, share ideas, and talk about challenges and opportunities you are experiencing in this current environment.
  • Take the time to listen to one another. The COVID-19 pandemic is a rapidly evolving situation that may cause people to feel overwhelmed or anxious. Expressing concerns and feeling heard are key to strengthening workplace relationships.
  • For those working remotely, make it a priority to connect with colleagues virtually. Organize virtual gatherings and activities such as a virtual coffee break or lunch, posting pet photos on a Teams channel, or initiating a virtual run/walk.

4. Find work-Life balance.

Remote employees may have difficulty establishing a healthy work-life balance right now. Since there may be less physical separation between their workspace and their personal space, employees may feel like they need to be available for work 24/7, which can lead to unnecessary stress and, eventually, burnout.

  • It is important to create boundaries between work and home life. Whenever possible, work your normal hours and then step away from the computer until it's time to start working the next day. Don’t try to compensate for lost productivity by working longer hours.
  • Remember, this is not a typical “work from home” situation. Many employees have children or other loved ones in the home requiring care or other distractions. Communicate with your supervisor about your needs and suggest ideas for meeting both your work and home obligations. Supervisors have been asked to be understanding and flexible during this unusual time.
  • Access support and assistance resources such as Cascade Centers, our employee assistance program provider, and other community resources to help you find balance based on your circumstances.

5. Stay connected with UO.

Take pride in our campus community and the awesome work taking place all around. Access and information about good news is all around us. Reflecting on the bright spots reinforces a sense of pride for being a Duck.