Want Employees To Stay Engaged During A Furlough? Keep The Lines Of Communication Open

Carol Leaman is the CEO of Axonify, a disruptor in the corporate learning space and innovator behind the Axonify Microlearning Platform.

More than 50 million people have filed unemployment claims in the U.S. since March. Macy’s, Marriott Hotels, AT&T, IBM, Walgreens — the list of major corporations hit by the pandemic keeps growing, with many organizations forced to make deep cuts to their workforce. In July, United Airlines said it would likely have to furlough nearly half of its staff by October, a move that will leave customer service and gate agents, flight attendants, and pilots temporarily unemployed.

There is no historical model for dealing with such unprecedented levels of job loss. How do you set your company up to succeed once the economic recovery happens if you’ve had to furlough thousands of employees? More importantly, how do you take care of those employees and keep your furloughed staff engaged in such a time of crisis? Flexible technology is critical.

One of our training clients, a retailer with more than 200 locations across the country, had to furlough 95% of its staff when shelter-in-place policies went into effect. Management knew the furloughs would result in a loss of trust with its workforce and that it would need to rebuild that trust if the company was going to survive long term. General managers had a limited number of options for reaching out to the frontline associates who had been temporarily laid off, but the CEO wanted a way to communicate with individuals directly.

The organization quickly pivoted to our online learning platform. Instead of offering frontline training modules, the CEO used the platform’s mobile app to send live videos from his home office, letting the staff know how much the company cared about them. The videos received more than a 90% engagement rate. Employees logged in to listen to the CEO and remained engaged beyond the one-on-one phone calls with their general managers, setting the entire organization up for a much smoother “reboarding” process — especially for the frontline staff, who must have additional safety and customer relations training before the reopening.

Read the full article from Forbes

Let’s work together to drive frontline performance in all the right ways.