How to Increase Productivity and Retention during Lockdown


When Covid 19 pandemic hit early last year, it forced people to work from home. Even the one who never worked remotely started work from home. No one saw it coming to blow on the face; this threw challenges to the organizations that were not prepared for.  The leadership team of the organization, HRs, managers and employees were dealing with the crisis and the new normal alongside.

This was not normal; people were not ready as work and personal front collided. With no dedicated workstation and dealing with personal anxieties made people stressed, demotivated and impacted productivity massively. Just when things were getting normal, the deadly 2nd wave of the pandemic hit people harder than ever before. In India, every home had either lost a loved one or suffered as a result of Covid positive.  This further lowered the morale of the employees.

During this time when the morale is low increasing productivity is challenging. However, some of the productivity enhancement pointers are:

  • Communicate Expectations: Managers and leaders have to communicate regularly with the team. Set the expectation very clearly and set the target for day to day work. This will help the team to have clarity and managers also would not have to micromanage the team. Since the scenario is currently or the new normal everyone is going through a lot and has to manage personal and professional engagements. The day – to day strategies for attainable work helps to create a focused and successful team.
  • Trust: This is one big thing that employees are looking for. Managers need to trust their team that the work will be delivered and everyone wants to give their best. If any employee is facing in problem or shirking the work, constant communication with people and a development plan always helps to solve this issue. It unleashes people to do their best coz they want to do their best. This helps to keep the morale high.
  • Appreciation: What better than appreciating and recognizing good work of team members? Everyone likes a pat on the back and a positive feedback. Overemphasize the employee’s achievement and celebrate the wins more often with everyone on board, it has a very positive impact.  A positive reinforcement encourages people to repeat the good work and boost the morale with productivity enhancement. Recognition is free and is most effective when a single member or team is called out during the meeting for appreciating their work, they feel valued and special for their contribution making an impact. It should be part of the culture and let everyone know the efforts individual or team has made.
  • Development: Everyone wants to grow in their career journey. Hence, investing in employee’s development is important. Up skill them through the online training program, certification from well-known bodies and associate it with the promotion or bigger responsibilities is a good motivation to get them to attend the training which they would rather shirk away. This helps to fill important roles within the organization which they would have to hire externally and saves cost. Having skilled employees helps to have an edge over competition.
  • Positive Culture: Culture is a collective behaviour of leadership that shows daily and the decision making process of the organization. It is imperative for the leadership team and managers to foster a culture of positivity for a thriving workplace. In the current WFH, scenario employee needs more assurance to make them feel secure about working in the organization. It can be more emphasis on flexibility over presentism, getting the work done rather than counting on working hours and appreciating good work.

An organization that curates the culture of engagement, growth, trust and investment in the development of employees has higher retention and higher productivity than the competition. They perform better and stay longer, which saves cost and increases impact on the organization.

Engagement plays a major role in employee retention and disengagement leads employees to look for another job and lowers productivity. A Gallup poll found that over half of the disengaged employees looks for another job and wants to quit. Also, remember people don’t leave for jobs they leave for boss. Hence, without managers support engagement cannot be done. 

When employees are happy, productivity and retention is not an issue.

Author – Moumita Ray

Moumita Ray is a human resource leader with rich experience in designing & developing strategies, processes, enhancing capabilities, and building culture to help businesses achieve its excellence.



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