Increasing Employee Engagement During a Pandemic

with Shannon Sisler


Shannon Sisler is the SVP and Chief People Officer (CPO) for Crocs. She is responsible for human resources globally, including talent acquisition/development, employee relations, total rewards, and corporate facilities. She has an amazing track record for building, directing, and transforming human resource practices that enable success for global corporations. She enjoys global travels, both personally and professionally, while spending time with her family in the Colorado Mountains. And today? She is (hopefully) enjoying being interviewed. 

Let’s dive in. 

The Origin Story

Shannon wanted to be a hot pink drag racer and drive a dragster. (WOW!) The other option was a school teacher or principal – less exciting, but still fun! Enter Shannon’s pivot. She graduated with a degree in finance and quickly learned that she didn’t like programming but loved teaching programming. She soon became very adept at HR related activities but in a client-focused way. 

An Engaged Workforce

Did you know that engaged employees have much better results? (Shocking, I know!) How we listen to people over time really matters.

“Gone are the days of just doing an annual engagement survey to see how people are doing.”

It’s no longer an HR tool or practice, but a business activity to be used by all. Crocs has top decile engagement… wonder how they got there… and more to the point have stayed there even through the tough times that 2020 presented.

Going On The Defense AND Offense

Many companies went on the defense when the pandemic struck. Crocs decided to go on the defense AND offense. Having an action-oriented team paid off during a very difficult time. The team was also pragmatic in recognizing that fast-paced decision making will have more imperfections and the forgiveness required for that.

Communication is Key

Increasing communication and transparency in times of uncertainty do SO much for employee morale and engagement. Engagement is contagious. The leadership team at Crocs went all out to communicate daily and consistently with all employees across the globe. What a success story! Communicate the why and what with those you work with. 

How To Create & Maintain Employee Engagement During A Pandemic

How do you create a sense of company culture and teamwork when you have what feels like different pandemic headquarters when many staff are working from home? The bottom line is the culture is still important and worth the time and effort in making sure all of those virtual workers are still being rewarded for their work. Thank your employees for their contributions. Recognize them on social media. Send out letters. Create team norms when the world changes to make them feel safe and secure. Having an action orientation and transparency with your entire company can help drive overall engagement.

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