Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement

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Developing and Sustaining Employee Engagement

 

When was the last time you really stood back and took stock of your workforce? Have you recently checked in with teams and departments to unpack what is happening on every level. Unfortunately, over the last two years, we have seen that companies globally have been struggling to retain their workforce after the pandemic.

 

While some companies have had to reduce their staff complement, others have been so focussed on business continuity and resilience strategies that they have not had a chance to check-in with their employees. With thousands of staff now also working remotely, and working environments changing completely, people management has become a lot more challenging.

 

With this in mind, we took a look at some of the ways that companies are developing their employees and heightening employee engagement in 2022. With this year being focussed on the scaling of business for most companies, employee development has been on the top of their minds. So, let’s delve into the top strategies of employee engagement.

 

Give Your Employees a Voice

One of the first places to start when looking at employee engagement is to understand just how much your employee engages with you. Regularly evaluating the voice of employee feedback is essential in understanding what is happening at the grassroots of the organization and to measure employee satisfaction.

 

With the right tool, you are able to gather data from your employees through various conversations. Using this, you can shift the employee momentum in your company by implementing changes that they have recommended. This will help you reduce attrition and absenteeism, and increase the engagement of your staff.

 

It will also enable you to test vital decisions of the company with the members of the staff who know your company best. Not only do staff members have direct contact with customers, and insights into their wants and needs, but a change in strategy might impact them directly. So, it could be worth your while hearing from them directly before instituting change.

 

Open Up Communication Channels

In many cases, the only time employees have a chance to communicate with management is during a review process. But, as we just mentioned, the voice of the employee is crucial for your company’s growth. A large consideration is that different employees prefer different channels of communication.

 

While some prefer one-on-one communication, others prefer digital conversations and channels like anonymous surveys. What is key is to ensure that management and team leaders learn to communicate effectively, especially in one-on-one settings. These forms of communication can be quite daunting and stressful for employees, so having an effective communicator is key to getting the best out of the discussion and the employee thereafter.

 

Find various channels for employee engagement. Tools like Slack are great for real-time instant messaging. But if there are more serious conversations to have with an employee, make sure the manager has had the right training to communicate effectively with the staff member.

Start Shifting the Company Culture

COVID-19 has proven one thing to companies and employees alike; the majority of working processes and company culture is incredibly outdated. The nine to five, five days a week concept is no longer sustainable, and employees have found that working from home is not only possible but highly productive too.

 

Work/life balance has started becoming more and more important to employees and successful organizations have started shifting policies to account for this. Globally, there has been a change in working environments.

 

While some countries are starting to shift to a four-day workweek, hundreds of the biggest corporate businesses are shutting down offices as employees thrive from remote working.

 

Focus on Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction directly results in heightened staff retention. So, spending time finding out what is important to your employees, and what will make them more productive is critical. While many businesses are wary about giving employees too much leeway in their time management, results over the last two years have proven that productivity and satisfaction are at all-time highs.

 

If you have not already, start integrating a reward program in your company. Rewarded and acknowledged employees are more likely to stay with a company than employees who aren’t. In fact, a recent survey found employee recognition was most important to 37% of employees compared to status and even salary.

 

Consider month-end awards, team recognition and team building exercises outside of the work environment. Ensuring that your employees feel like part of the organization is critical to their performance, so spend time when onboarding new employees and creating an inclusive environment.

 

The Bottom Line

For years, employees have only been treated as numbers and the daily grind became the new normal. While things have rapidly changed over the last decade, this was even further accelerated by the pandemic and stay-at-home policies. If you are not cognizant of how rapidly the working culture is changing, you will start finding that employee turnover will increase and overall satisfaction will drop. Keep your employees engaged and communication lines open.