Employee engagement has been a highly debated topic over the last decade.
The Great Resignation (aka Great Reshuffle), the COVID-19 Pandemic, and the mix of different demographics in the workplace have widened the array of challenges executive teams and human resources leaders must address.
While the U.S. is the global leader in employee engagement, many US companies still ask themselves: How do we face the gap between current company engagement levels and best-in-class benchmarks?
In our experience, these five strategies will help boost your team’s engagement levels:
1. Develop a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) strategy
When asked what inclusion feels like, employees have many definitions. For the most part, however, they agree that an inclusive workplace provides the following:
- Being treated with dignity and respect.
- Being able to bring their authentic selves to work.
- Being able to contribute.
- Feeling connected to others.
Organizations implementing DEI strategies report better recruitment results. Approximately 65% of people across identity groups view an inclusive environment as “very important” when considering new roles.
Beyond the workplace, companies with a more diverse workforce often experience better overall performance and results.
An inclusive work environment is critical for retention and provides measurable benefits. A study found that employees experiencing low inclusion are up to six times more likely to pursue new jobs than similar employees experiencing high inclusion. Have you calculated the cost of employee turnover for your company?
According to recent research of more than 600 US businesses with 50-500 employees, 63.3% of companies say retaining employees is more complicated than hiring them.
2. Encourage professional development to ensure employee engagement
According to a Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) study, only 19% of employees were “delighted” with available career advancement opportunities.
Employees without clear career advancement opportunities and professional development plans are prone to look for other work environments where they can grow.
Companies are more likely to benefit from lower turnover and higher performance when employees sense that the company they work for is committed to their development. They have future opportunities to look forward to.
According to a Gallup survey, up to 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are significant to them in a job.
3. Managers must be people-centric to engage employees
People-centric management focuses on individual people development and embracing employee insights to build a better business. It allows leaders to consider individuals’ personalities and behaviors to provide a more tailored management approach. Benefits of this approach include the ability to align all employees to work towards team and company objectives.
Many employees have reported feeling overwhelmed as their workload increased or changed over the last 24 months. Acknowledging their feelings, recognizing their work, and rewarding them for outstanding performance and effort is critical to generating high people engagement.
But even rewarding and recognizing employees can be challenging – how, when, and who provides the recognition are crucial factors to consider.
Along with our software solutions, we developed a framework for adoption and employee engagement that, among other things, aims to harmonize company culture with reward and recognition strategies to achieve increased employee motivation and engagement.
4. Adopt new technologies for better employee engagement
Contrary to popular belief, employee engagement is not solely a human resources (HR) topic.
Managers should continuously collaborate with HR to build better teams and establish employee development roadmaps.
Delivering results, optimizing processes and activities, and having engaged teams are part of every leader’s role.
How would managers’ behaviors change if people engagement was a key factor in their annual performance reviews? What if employee engagement levels under 50% automatically disqualified them from their next promotion? Alternatively, led them to their next promotion.
Innovative technology tools can help managers coach, monitor, and stimulate employee engagement. Executive and HR leaders must remind managers that the software is not a replacement for human contact and nurturing.
5. Looks For Compatibility in Values
Have you ever heard of hiring for the right fit? Hiring the right candidate includes looking for alignment between employee values and company values.
Besides compensation and benefits, hiring for the right fit has recently been a trending topic.
Beyond workplace and organizational culture compatibility, employees who have alignment with company values tend to report higher job satisfaction.
After boredom and lack of new challenges, 24% of employees cited “lack of fit between employees’ work culture and values” as their main reason for switching jobs.
Communication between employees and the different layers of leadership must be inspiring and motivating. This communication needs to be an organizational priority and a behavior modeled by managers.
Regularly communicating your employee involvement strategies and daily efforts to create a better workplace environment will help generate trust and visibility of actions. They will contribute to improving employee engagement levels.
Times are changing, and so is the way to manage teams and individuals. We encourage you to analyze and implement new tools to create a great workplace with engaged and productive employees.
We would love to hear about your efforts to boost engagement and create a better employee experience.
Take a moment to share your comments below!