The work force is changing rapidly and employee experience and peace of mind continue to trailblaze ahead. While it is easy to understand why your business should focus on employee engagement, it can sometimes be harder to work out how to effectively do so with so many misconceptions about employee engagement and misunderstandings around best practice.
Here we take a look at five of the best ways to ensure your employee engagement strategy is on point:
We all know that flexibility increases employee engagement. Millennials value a work/ life balance and, though it may have once been a pipe dream, employees these days value flexibility and the option of working from home or working remotely.
Implementing flexible working improves and increases engagement and motivation, and in an age where there are specific systems and software in place to be able to work remotely, this will be seen more and more. Working from home allows employees to feel more connected and engaged to their personal lives, which leads to more engagement in their work lives. Flexibility enables time to decompress, collect or drop off children from school, or start/ finish earlier or later which can have a HUGE impact on feelings of well-being and happiness.
While remote working brings about its own specific set of challenges for engagement, here are some great ways to keep your team motivated while remote working.
Put the ‘d’ in development
Learning is vital for employee engagement, and employees expect to have development and learning opportunities at their fingertips. Employees feel valued when their development is invested in, which can raise the morale and lead to happier and far more productive workers. Developmental programmes or training that can equip employees to be the best they can be within their roles, plus develop and equip them for the future are worth their weight in gold.
On the flip side, not empowering progression can lead to flat employees who lack motivation and stagnate in their roles. Continued learning is a critical element of engaged workers, and management and leaders have the power to help motivate and nurture their employees.
Get with the tech
Young employees and millennials are a tech savvy bunch; the major clue is the smartphone we have glued to our hands 24/7 and complete unconditional love of the hashtag. Spoiler alert - Millennials are extremely into the latest technology and are 100% familiar with technology.
To harness this love of technology, ensure your company has messaging apps or employee apps to log into, to not only enable a modern, tech savvy work environment that can inspire and motivate, but also to slot right in to the lifestyle and climate that workers now have. Instant answers and quick, seamless communications are favoured, and video calling or conducting international meetings via video conferencing platforms are the norm.
All these tools are handy in a world gone virtual. So, log on and get down with the digital natives. Those working remotely and logging in through technology are often more engaged with colleagues and supervisors than in-office workers. All the technological tools at their fingertips helps workers stay super connected.
Trust in me
Remember the snake from the Jungle Book who slithered on screen whispering, “trust in me….” It’s time to be more him. Working patterns are now far more flexible and employees value free reign to get creative and to be trusted that they won’t mess about and abuse the freedom and flexibility.
With so much work being done remotely, emails and work can be done on the hoof and a degree of freedom can lead to miles more creativity. It is ultimately down to the company to decide to what extent freedom is acceptable, and in what form. For this, policy making is a supremely important element and needs to be decided at a top level and set. With trust comes respect, which is a two-way street. When employees are granted trust and control over their work lives, they give a whole lot more.
It’s good to talk…
We’ve all heard horror stories of employees who barely get one review a year and feel in the dark about not only their performance but management decisions as a whole, the company and its narrative. Employees expect and deserve more. Frequent, thoughtful dialogue between managers and employees drives success and transparency which equals results.
Employees now have a voice they haven’t had before. Conversations have opened up. “This doesn’t work for me” and “This doesn’t feel right” are becoming commonplace and employees have become liberated and empowered as mental health and wellness becomes a vital part of any company or organisation. Conversations which once took place behind closed doors are trickling into open plan break out spaces. Employees crave feedback and as much as management may moan, “we have no time,” or “candid conversations can be awkward and unpleasant,” employees continue to demand and crave more feedback. So, clear your throats and get talking.
With these ideals at the heart of your employee engagement strategy alongside a reward and recognition scheme which allows you to celebrate the work done, you will have a more engaged and productive team who feel empowered to do their best for your organisation.