Guide to Employee Engagement: Action Steps for Employees

The following action steps provide ideas to help keep employees engaged while working during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Take care of yourself and encourage others to do the same.
  2. Take care for one another.
  3. Prioritize communication.
  4. Seek out professional growth opportunities..
  5. Find work-Life balance.
  6. 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 in-person or from home, it can be hard to stay connected and be part of a team. Some ways that you can help foster a sense of community while maintaining following safety regulations include:

  • 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.
  • Make it a priority to connect with colleagues who are working virtually. Include them in meetings and impromptu discussions when possible. 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. Seek out professional growth opportunities.

Developing your skills, expanding your knowledge, and acquiring new abilities help you engage with your work in new ways and allows you to grow professionally on-the-job while also positioning you for new opportunities.

Through a continuous learning mindset, you can find opportunities to development and grow through day-to-day assignments, challenging work-related projects, webinars and other targeted seminars, and digital learning platforms such as LinkedIn Learning. Consider these 7 reasons why continuous learning is important.

As a UO employee, you have use LinkedIn Learning, which gives you unlimited access to its comprehensive resources and expert instructors. It offers personalized learning recommendations based on experience and individual utilization. The training and resources are self-directed and can be accessed from any desktop or mobile device.

5. Find work-Life balance.

Employees may have difficulty establishing a healthy work-life balance right now. The COVID-19 pandemic affects both personal and professional aspects of life as we all contend with new routines, safety regulations, and unexpected developments. Refer to employee work-life section of the HR website for tools and resources that can offer you assistance with finding balance when managing both personal and professional responsibilities. For those working remotely, there may be less physical separation between their workspace and their personal space, which can lead to unnecessary stress and, eventually, burnout the employee may feel like they need to be available for work 24/7. Here are tips to finding balance while working from home:

  • 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.

6. 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.