Top 5 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged through Tough Times

Photo of a woman and man about to start running

Keeping team morale high and employees engaged is something that should always be on our table. Employee morale doesn’t happen magically nor overnight. Working on our company’s culture is an ongoing task and if we’re not careful, things could derail rapidly, especially when times get tough and we’re presented with unexpected situations (ahem, COVID-19 for example!).

Research shows that organizations with high morale and corporate culture benefit from less stress, and that obviously means your employees have a higher productivity and efficiency, less absenteeism and your company decreases turnover. When employees like their workplace and feel cared for, they truly commit to getting great outcomes. Going to work is not just a thing they’ve got to do to pay rent, it’s something they actually enjoy doing, therefore their performance is much higher and the quality of their work is top notch.

A good company culture gives you a competitive edge, and allows you to attract and maintain top talent. So it’s fair to say that by boosting your company’s morale, both you and your employees win. We’re here to provide you with simple tips that’ll help you in your pursuit of increasing employee morale and keeping employee engagement high.

1. Recognition

A survey by Gallup pointed out that “Workplace recognition motivates, provides a sense of accomplishment and makes employees feel valued for their work. Recognition not only boosts individual employee engagement, but it also has been found to increase productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention.”

So, focus on the good things! When someone is doing a great job, praise them and share their accomplishments with the rest of the team. Be careful though, don’t just praise for the sake of praising or it may come off a little phoney. Be genuine when congratulating someone.

Employees love to have their efforts recognized, but sometimes we don’t really know how much praise and recognition we should give. Sometimes you don’t even have to carry that burden all by yourself. One of the best employee engagement strategies to improve recognition is to create a program where colleagues praise each other.

Two people about to shake hands

A fun idea is to create little tokens with company values written on them, and have your employees send them to their colleagues along with a message saying why they think they exemplify such value(s). You can also recognize at the end of the year those employees that got more tokens and give your own perspective on why they represent those company values.

2. Balance is Key

Picture of spilled coffee

Who hasn’t worked extra hours and even nights when having a big project on hand? It’s not uncommon to see some people stretching their work schedule to meet expectations. But the truth is that this only causes burnout and a big amount of stress. Projects and tasks will end up not being completely satisfactory and you’ll have a cranky and tired up employee with no sense of accomplishment. Sure, they tried their best but it doesn’t show.

Some might think these actions show commitment, but they don’t. They will just take your employees over the edge and you’ll end up with poor quality results and probably facing turnover.

Promote a healthy work-life balance. Do not encourage your employees to work after hours nor to address work matters while they’re off the clock. Your employees will thank you and feel cared for, resulting in higher commitment and productivity.

3. Be Transparent

When morale is a little off, hiding things from your team will only add up to uncertainty and insecurity. Don’t be afraid to communicate and even ask for help if there’s a situation you don’t know how to handle. Your team will appreciate and thank you for your honesty.

Employees appreciate feeling trusted, so don’t hesitate to share with them insights from the company, like updates or customer satisfaction stats; or what new products you’re expecting to release next year, the company’s upcoming plans and protocols. You never know who might surprise you with feedback or an idea that could be the answer you were hoping for.

If your employees feel they don’t know enough about the organization, provide them with the information that will make them feel part of the team, like how things are done in other departments or how the decision making process is held.

Picture of a paper that says 'truth'

Be sure to check-in with your employees every so often. You can use Hirebook’s Check-Ins feature, to schedule weekly, biweekly and monthly check-ins and even personalize your questions. Don’t ask the typical questions, try to dig a little deeper so you can really know how your team is feeling and if they need help with anything. Building trust is all about actually being there for your team and genuinely worrying for their wellbeing.

4. Set Fun Objectives

Picture of a gazelle animal

Your employees surely have a lot on their hands right now, but there’s always room for a little fun. Sometimes when people feel under pressure, an effective way to clear their minds is by accomplishing a different type of goal and experiencing a sense of satisfaction by doing so.

Set fun goals like finding the strangest story of the day on the news, or finding fun facts on specific subjects. Giving your employees a fun activity to focus on for a bit, and maybe rewarding them, will help them relax and feel more engaged.

5. Encourage Get Togethers

Get-togethers can be a huge morale boost. You could arrange some “out of the office Fridays” and have your teams working together from another location, or organizing small parties or holiday giveaways.

Get-togethers don’t necessarily have to be out of the office; you can create a warm environment, and maybe have special beverages like hot cocoa and snacks in the cafeteria or break room, so your employees can share a few moments together, destress and continue with their work with a smile on their faces.

You want to make it better? Have some vitamins and supplements in case someone is feeling like they might come down with something. It’s not just about taking care of their emotional health, but their physical health as well.

Picture of the Earth (Globe)


Picture of a lock

As you can see, employee engagement strategies are not as complicated as you thought, there’s a lot that can be accomplished with just a little change in your everyday practices.

We hope these employee engagement tips come in handy to help you motivate your most valuable employees and engage them like never before!

Published: Tuesday August 03, 2021

Guest Blogger: Laura Iñiguez

Laura Iñiguez (Content Manager at Hirebook) is a content strategist focused on Human Resources, People Management and Culture. She has previously worked as a Talent and Corporate Culture Specialist and as a Social Media Manager for renowned companies such as Sheraton Hotels.


Receive occasional service discounts, updates, giveaways, knowledge, and much more! We’ll rarely bother you.


Gauntlet Creative [out of Hudson, MA USA] provides practical media solutions to business owners, artists, and individuals.

With services ranging from website development to podcast production, Gauntlet Creative is ready to expand your brand.

Gauntlet Creative Logo

20+ years of experience


Website Development Computer

Professional WordPress websites for your brand

Podcast Production Josh Staples and Alex Fewell holding microphones

Experienced consulting, tracking, and delivery

Logos, flyers, + more

Demos, mobile audio, + more

Save your old tapes

Recent Clients  

Powerglove band logo
Tattoo Angus logo
Prepped and Polished Tutoring logo
BN Yanow logo

Key Service Areas  

Based out of MetroWest Massachusetts, we proudly support clients globally and throughout New England:


Bristol, Enfield, Glastonbury, Hartford, Manchester, Mansfield, New Britain, Torrington, Waterbury, Windham, Windsor Locks, and more!


Cape Elizabeth, Kennebunk, Kennebunkport, Kittery, Lewiston, Ogunquit, Old Orchard Beach, Portland, Saco, Sanford, Wells, Westbrook, and more!


Allston, Boston, Burlington, Cambridge, Dracut, Framingham, Hudson, Lowell, Marlborough, Natick, Somerville, Worcester, and more!

New Hampshire

Amherst, Bedford, Concord, Derry, Hudson, Keene, Londonderry, Manchester, Merrimack, Nashua, Portsmouth, Rochester, Salem, and more!

Rhode Island

Bristol, Charlestown, Cranston, Middletown, Narragansett, Newport, Pawtucket, Portsmouth, Providence, Warwick, Woonsocket, and more!


Bennington, Burlington, Brattleboro, Brookline, Dover, Glastenbury, Marlboro, Somerset, Stamford, Townshend, Whitingham, Wilmington, and more!

Chase Visa

Sign up for a Chase Visa and get 60,000+ bonus points (after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months). Restrictions may apply.

Book Now  

You’ll get a response in 24-48 hours.