There is no doubt that employee engagement is critical to employee satisfaction and retention. To put this in numbers, companies that can successfully engage their employees increase their chances of retention by 87% as per studies. A happy and satisfied workforce is motivated to churn out their best, perform optimally and maintain better overall productivity, ultimately adding to company coffers.
Unfortunately, the pandemic and its restrictions have made employee engagement an uphill battle for HR departments. With little to no personal interaction and a taxing transition to the remote work environment, many companies now face a significant change in culture. While this has received positive feedback, it has led to low employee engagement in many cases. Addressing this problem is critical, and there are many tactics you can undertake.
Here is a mixed bag of long-term strategies and quick fixes you can implement to boost your company’s employee engagement.
Optimize processes to increase efficiency at work
Prior to the pandemic, a OnePoll survey found that 26% of an employee’s time in a working day is wasted doing unnecessary chores. These tasks included working with outdated processes and technology or attending unnecessary meetings that offered little to no value. The impact of such inefficiency worsened in a remote working environment. The Gallup State of the Global Workplace Report in 2020 found that engagement dropped to 20% last year. Naturally, it is safe to assume that this did no favors for an employee’s overall daily performance.
Replacing inefficient practices with optimized and time-saving ones can improve an employee’s work quality, thereby boosting morale. For instance, having an effective document management process in place can ensure that employees have one less thing to worry about, making work manageable. According to the same report, work-induced stress was also at a high, with worry amounting to 41% of the problem. Instituting provisions that minimize instances of stress and worry is sure to increase efficiency, and engagement as well.
Create open communication channels and prioritize feedback
Communication is another aspect of an employee’s workday that normally requires optimization. This not only includes HR-employee communication but also communication among colleagues. Effective comms ensure employees can complete daily tasks without any hitches. Streamlining modes of communication can further help streamline workflow, as well as the chain of command.
With more companies embracing remote or hybrid working styles, it is now essential to have desktop-less communication channels. This will help ensure:
- Easy accessibility and availability of all persons involved with a given project.
- Reduce friction caused by the lack of physical presence, usually known to restrict workflow.
Employees want feedback, as this helps them feel acknowledged. It simultaneously improves employee engagement as there are no gaps in the communication. Enhancing communication between management and employees seems the obvious first step in this regard. Other smart options include:
- Asking managers and team leaders to schedule frequent check-ins and review sessions with their teams.
- Providing additional training to ensure that a blanket-style approach isn’t employed to every employee’s need or problem.
- Creating an environment that encourages open and honest conversation between employees and management.
- Encouraging managers to deploy every possible communication channel to give and receive feedback.
Review and polish your onboarding process
Well begun is half done, and this applies to your company’s onboarding process as well. This is a pivotal moment where the new joinee gets a first-hand experience of the company’s culture, atmosphere, and fellow employees. If done right, it can set the correct tone for a new employee, helping them envision their career growth and personal development. So, your onboarding should lay the foundation of a working relationship that is engaging and inclusive.
A critical aspect of the onboarding experience is the office intranet. It helps new employees to know and understand your business, the processes to be followed, fellow employees, and company culture. Moreover, adding a personal space like ‘My Profile’ provides a digital space for employees to express themselves, building camaraderie. All of this guarantees a simple, effective, and seamless onboarding experience, ensuring employee engagement from the start.
Provide working flexibility to employees
Employees expect their companies to help them achieve the elusive and much-needed work-life balance. They expect employers to be empathetic enough to help them meet their personal commitments. Work-from-home flexibility and remote opportunities were proven tools that guaranteed satisfaction, and to an extent increased employee engagement. But with the pandemic and the recent shift to digital working conditions, additions must be made.
For instance, allowing your employees to choose their work timings is a good start. This shows that you care about them and their personal lives and are invested in their well-being. Optimize your processes and workflow in a manner that allows your employees freedom in choosing their timings. Showing empathy on your part will significantly boost engagement and overall productivity.
Recognize, appreciate, and reward employee efforts
When employees feel acknowledged, valued and rewarded, they are motivated to do better. However, this should not be the sole purpose of recognizing and appreciating employee efforts. Ensure that you do so solely for the quality of work and effort, highlighting their value to the company. Seeing colleagues being motivated and rewarded for their work and efforts will also boost the morale of the entire workforce. It will inspire them to work harder, ultimately improving employee engagement.
Invest in upskilling your workforce
Investing in your workforce is synonymous with investing in your business. Providing employees with opportunities, training, and education to upskill tells employees that you see potential and are ready to invest in them. Not doing so can not only harm productivity, but also affect retention and employee engagement. Helping your employees improve in the very aspects they are lacking inspires confidence, improving engagement.
Promote shared company culture and core values
Take efforts to promote a consistent culture and core values throughout the company. This ensures that every employee shares, and is part of a common culture that drives them at work. While it helps improve employee interaction and engagement, it also helps align employee goals to company purpose. A transparent and shared company culture results in a highly productive and fun working environment. Moreover, it fosters a bond of trust between managers and employees.
Undertake actionable employment satisfaction and engagement surveys
A successful employee engagement strategy is incomplete without taking honest feedback and reviews. A transparent and collaborative approach can help you build a lasting and effective engagement program. To this effect, undertake regular feedback in the form of polls, surveys, and interviews. This makes the employee a stakeholder in the betterment of the workforce, providing you with actionable data about your engagement program.
Money is not the only reason employees leave companies. Employees today want a job that caters to their well-being while treating them with respect and in an inclusive manner. A well thought-out and employee-centric engagement program can help you create a brand that attracts new talent and retains the current workforce.
As per a survey, a point increase in employee satisfaction transcends to a 1.3-point increase in customer satisfaction. So, it is in your company’s best interest to prioritize employee well-being to ensure customer happiness.
At Talent500, we help you build employee engagement solutions that feature a streamlined onboarding process, and access tools that optimize engagement. With our best-in-class benefits, managing a remote team becomes easy with us as your EOR. We leverage a host of community activities, learning and development initiatives, and many more methods to help bolster employee engagement. To know how we can help you achieve this goal, book a consultation online.