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Why was lockdown engaging?

 As we continue the progression back to the new normal (whatever that might look like), one of the interesting things that many businesses and studies are reporting is that employee engagement levels have actually increased during the COVID-19 lockdowns.

Why would that be the case?

Are there lessons that we can take from this?

Let’s explore why that might have happened.

 The Lucky Ones

There are people who have continued to work pretty well in line with their contracted hours of work albeit perhaps in a different setting (eg at home) or with modifications within their workplace. They would be grateful that they have had the good fortune to get through this difficult period largely unscathed especially when they look at others who have been locked down for months.

 A taste of flexible working

Of course, there are people who have enjoyed the flexibilities that go with working from home and the saving of time on the commute to work. For many, time is the most precious of commodities and they would see significant silver linings in the clouds of COVID-19.

There are lots of stories about people getting better balance in life during the last year and a balance that they want to retain.

Doing things differently

We also know that there are those who haven’t enjoyed the physical isolation but have learned new ways to be connected eg with various virtual teleconferencing platforms.

Learning and experiencing new ways of doing things have their own rewards and have opened up new possibilities with work that people value.

So all of the above are things which have contributed to employees feeling more engaged with their workplaces/employers.

We think there is another that is really important to recognise.

Loss of the physical and visual comfort zone

When people are in the office, we can see them and have intended or incidental face to face interactions which give us a sense of comfort that we are in control and things are OK with them.

For many managers, this is very much a case of all is OK in the world as long as people have their heads down and bums up and unless someone puts their hand up to say otherwise.

So what happens when that comfort zone is stripped away ie people are working from home so we can’t see them and we can’t just walk over and talk to them?

For many managers, that means that “I have to have check-ins with people to keep on top of things and ensure that the work is getting done, our customers are being satisfied and I am meeting my responsibilities as a manager.” 

If you are in that space, you have probably had more conversations/1-on-1s with each of your people during lockdown and guess what? Because of that, people can feel more connected and more valued and more engaged.

Smart businesses will explore with their people what lessons you can take from the lockdown experience that will make a positive difference to your “new normal workplace”.

We know that regular, positive and constructive conversations with people make that difference regardless of the setting in which they work. 

If you would like to learn how to do that, we would love to help you.

 Give our Practice Leader, Peter Maguire a call on 0438 533 311 to book a free consultation!


Ridgeline Human Resources Pty Ltd
ABN : 24 091 644 094

6 Ellesmere Ave, Croydon Victoria 3136

1300 108 488