Prior to COVID-19, remote work was considered a company perk. Yet, within a few weeks it had become mandatory and viewed as a business disruption. Though it seems inconvenient, remote work may be beneficial to our current employee engagement practices. Now that organizations are experiencing a lot of unknowns, positive workplace morale is vital to keeping businesses afloat.

Due to the pandemic, employees have heightened levels of professional and personal concerns. According to data from studies conducted by Willis Tower Watson and Josh Bersin Academy, the top four areas of concern for workers are financial security, health and wellbeing, family and productivity at work.

Although leaders cannot guarantee good health or job security, making time to keep employees engaged demonstrates that leaders are empathetic to the nuances of working from home. It can also align organizations to become employers of choice by enhancing their organizational brand.

Here are a couple of ideas that will keep you and your workers engaged along this journey.

Virtual Development Opportunities- Encourage workers to participate in online development opportunities. Whether sessions are provided internally or hosted by outside sources, workers will appreciate opportunities to learn new things. This is the time to think outside of the box and consider personal development options as well. They provide overall balance, and many are of low to no cost to the company.

Virtual Engagement Opportunities- These sessions are priceless. Whether you are simply “checking in”, discussing a project status or connecting the entire team, trust and a sense of worth will be the likely response from these interactions. Assign team members the responsibility of planning virtual activities. This can get their creative juices flowing, while creating an inclusive work environment.

Leaders who authentically demonstrate care and value for employees create engaging environments. They also provide a level of relief for those who work alongside them to keep businesses sustainable.

Takiyah J. Cunningham, M.S. HRD



Company policy states that all expense reports must be reviewed and approved by the employee’s direct supervisor before they will be approved for payment. You as the manager tend to overview expense accounts and do an occasional “spot check” to ensure accuracy-for the most part they are typically accurate. On a recent “spot check” you discovered a $100 charge that seemed out of the ordinary. As you begin to dig deeper you discover that this employee has charged several thousands of dollars to the company for their personal use. When you question the employee they dispute the charges. In fact, they get agitated by the fact that you seem to be “snooping” on them. They accuse you of unfair treatment and state that “everyone else is allowed to spend a few dollars” so why are they being singled out? What should you do?


Q. Should you deduct the total amount in question from the employee’s paycheck?


A. No! some states prohibit an employer from deducting money from an employee’s check without authorization


Q. Should you fire the employee on the spot for falsifying expense reports?


A. No! you should consult with your Human Resources office to conduct a thorough investigation prior to termination. Human Resources will consult with their legal resources to ensure they are in compliance with state and federal laws.


Q. Should you consult other managers to gain an understanding of how they have handled previous situations?


A. No! You should have a confidential conversation with your Human Resources Representative to ensure that this sensitive matter is handled appropriately.


Once the investigation has been completed you will work with your Human Resources Representative to develop a plan of action that will address several issues;

  • The facts of the case and what the appropriate next steps should be with the employee(or other employees involved)
  • A change in how you the manager will review expense reports moving forward
  • Development of a communication strategy outlining the new expense review and approval process to all of your employees
  • A review and update of internal processes to ensure that checks and balances are in place to properly manage company resources

Be alert to the widespread implications of company policy and process violations and the impact they can have from both a fiscal and legal aspect.


If you would like more information on this topic please contact us at AllMac & Associates for further information.


"Connecting People, Processes, and Productivity"


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