Reimagining Employee Engagement
20th October 2020
Over the past 20 years, employee engagement has risen to prominence within the HR community, and it is widely accepted that organisations with higher levels of employee engagement experience better financial performance.
Respected studies have shown that an engaged employee is happier, more productive, innovative and more committed to their job.
Since the term first appeared in 1990, companies have ploughed vast sums of money into the pursuit of achieving great employee engagement.
But, research suggests organisations are still missing the mark when it comes to engaging people at work.
A report by Gallup declared we are in a “worldwide employee engagement crisis,” and that 85% of employees are just showing up for work.
So, if engagement is something everyone knows is a priority, where are we going wrong and how do we change it?
Workforce expectations are changing
Fundamentally, we need to rethink how we view and approach employee engagement. The world of work is an increasingly complex environment, which means we need to be moving away from dated strategies to more dynamic solutions that provide real-time results.
Globalisation, new technologies, the shift from a manufacturing economy to a service one, and a workforce that does not buy into a “job for life” concept, are some of the key drivers behind this need for change.
Today’s workforce places a greater emphasis on wellbeing, company culture and feeling valued at work. Nowadays, people want a more complete experience at work.
Employee engagement and wellbeing go hand-in-hand
Traditionally, organisations have compartmentalised employee engagement; they have siloed it off to HR, and treated it as an end-game project, where if they take the right steps and tick the right boxes the job is done.
While this approach can work, its efficacy has a short-shelf life that cannot achieve long-term and sustainable employee engagement or deliver real benefits to the organisation.
Instead, a more proactive, human-centric and holistic approach to employee engagement that considers all the contributors to engagement, wellness and satisfaction will yield better and more impactful results.
Rather than have it be a side-project or one-off effort, a culture of engagement and wellbeing should be woven into the DNA of an organisation’s employee experience and considered a core aspect of its business strategy.
After all, incentives are unlikely to have the desired effect if people are feeling stressed, unwell, undervalued and unhappy at work on a daily basis.
What needs to change now
Feedback and communication are a major aspect of engagement – the quickest way to disengage and demotivate a workforce is to ignore them.
This is why we need to stop relying on employee surveys as the primary approach to employee engagement, not only is it slow, it lacks the human touch and can be perceived as an extra inconvenience for already busy employees.
A more modern approach is to establish an open-ended two-way dialogue that feeds information from the ground up, giving everyone in your organisation a voice.
This approach would enable you to continuously capture employee feedback and cut down on time spent gathering data.
By removing traditional barriers to communication, you will be able to capture your people’s sentiment “in the moment” and empower them to reach out to you at any time.
This type of timely data will empower you to make better strategic decisions about how to drive employee engagement. It ensures line managers really understand what their people value and what they need to thrive at work.
Trickle gives organisations both the data and platform they need to make timely interventions that are visible to anyone within the organisation, making them more agile and endlessly adaptable.
Employees feel engaged when they feel their voice is being heard, their input is valued, and that improvements are made based on these views.
If you give your people a chance to contribute, be genuinely involved in an inclusive, transparent and agile workplace, everyone benefits.
A new way of working with innovative engagement strategies
The world of work is becoming increasingly digital, more and more people are working remotely, while many companies are moving towards an office-less environment – a trend likely to continue due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
The rapidity of Covid-19 saw a number of organisations have to digitally transform almost overnight, and this snap process highlighted a number of issues that traditional engagement strategies are not equipped to handle.
For example, people needed a lot more wellbeing support to ensure their engagement levels did not slip.
While people were suddenly more digitally connected, this new physical distance and detachment created problems that previously did not exist.
From missed “water cooler chats” to a lack of in-person interactions, suddenly important ad hoc conversations, ideas, suggestions and team connectivity were being lost.
Now, with the immediate rush to pivot over, organisations are now asking themselves how they will maintain employee engagement and wellbeing going forward. What may have worked before is not longer applicable.
This will require a new innovative engagement solution that can address these emerging issues, such as managing inclusion in isolation, staff burnout, a growing always-on culture, and ensuring meaningful employee appreciation continues to happen.
It’s a journey not a destination
Rather than thinking of engagement as an outcome to work towards, it should be viewed as a tool to get results for the overall health and sustainability of your organisation.
The future success of employee engagement depends on the ability of organisations to reimagine their approach to employee engagement to include wellbeing and all contributors to employee satisfaction.
When it comes to employee engagement it is essential we become more adaptable and put people at the centre of the experience.
Find out how Trickle is reinventing employee engagement and what it could mean for your organisation.
For more information or to start a free 30-day no obligation trial visit, trickle.works/freetrial
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By giving your people a place to voice their suggestions & concerns when they need to, you’ll inspire a happier, more productive and loyal workforce.