Work has always been, and always will be, a crucial part of our identities. As kids, we were often asked the question: “What do you want to be when you grow up”, and we have all sorts of responses.
Whether you followed the career path you wanted since childhood or delved into something else, one important thing stands out: how engaged are you at work? (The same question can be asked: If you have employees- how engaged are they?)
Sadly, one in three U.S employees scoffs at the concept of employee engagement because it is so far from their reality. Some employees cannot connect with the company’s mission, and others feel like they’d rather be elsewhere. Employees are less productive when they lack the motivation to be at work, leaving their minds unengaged!
What is Employee/Workplace Engagement?
In a work environment, imagine that it's lunchtime, and a young man sits behind his monitor, a grin of satisfaction plastered on his face as he types away in response to a client’s inquiries. He's working so hard that he forgets to leave the office for lunch! But that’s not a problem, because he knows he can take his lunch break as soon as he’s done with this time-pressed client.
Clearly, you can see that this young man is an engaged employee (enabled by a flexible work environment!) Employee engagement has to do with an employee showing up to work each day as the best version of him/herself. By doing so, this employee proactively seeks to accomplish some vital part of the company’s mission.
It isn’t hard to identify an engaged employee. The question is, why are there so few of them, and what trends can help a company recruit and keep more employees engaged? As an HR manager, you are a driving force for change in the workplace. By following the trends below, you can really inspire and encourage your workforce to become more dynamic themselves.
These Trends Will Improve Employee Engagement in Your Organization:
1. Understand the Right Working Conditions to Engage New Generation
In a recent Gallup poll study, about 34% of employees were noted to be committed to their workplaces and happy about the work they do, and while this might not seem significant, it is one of the highest figures recorded in the recent past. Still, more can be done.
What can we do to bring in the over 50% of disengaged workers into the fold of engaged and happy workers?
One way to do this is to actively pursue the new group of individuals in our marketplace: the millennials. For the millennials, an active share in the workforce has seen a significant upsurge, and giving them the right tools to work with is a sure way of increasing workplace engagement.
Tailoring employee engagement strategies to this group of individuals who are estimated to make up about 75% of the active workforce by 2030 is a wise approach. What do millennials require?
They ask for sincere and open communication routes, a fascinating laid-back work culture, a sense of fulfillment in their roles- not just working for the sake of being paid. Collaboration and psychological wellness are also key requirements of millennials if they’d enjoy the workplace and stay engaged.
2. Train Leaders to Provide Good Management and Feedback
Leaders heavily influence the employees they work with and will affect the overall workplace happiness of your company. Finding manager candidates with a foundation of great leadership qualities and behavioral skills is a great way to start, but remember that management training and improvement is an ongoing process.
It doesn’t take a genius to realize that good managers breed happier and more engaged employees. If a team has a manager who inspires them, it becomes a lot easier or everyone to work together effectively.
Authenticity, a calm presence, dignity, accountability, integrity, and empathy are key qualities to look out for in leaders to increase workplace engagement.
Giving good feedback has become a ‘must-have’ component of management. Employees who do not receive ample feedback take little or no time before becoming disengaged. When employees receive healthy doses of constructive feedback, they have been known to improve(when feedback is about how they can do better), and work a lot harder/smarter (when feedback is positive).
If you incorporate an effective feedback culture in your work environment, team performance will improve, your employees will feel valued, and their work will have a purpose. All of which will make your organization more effective.
3. Improved Communication Strategies
Consistent communication - whether it occurs in-person, over the phone, or electronically - is connected to higher engagement. That being said, there is an overload of messages in today's world of technology. People are constantly being bombarded with information that may or not be relevant to them.
To engage loyalty, support, and interest, you need to make sure your communications are centered around the employees themselves. When communicating internally, ask yourself how they will benefit from your messages? Try to connect with your employees in these communications by establishing some kind of personal and emotional bond.
Figure out what your employees need to hear about, what they’re interested in, and how you can keep them engaged in your communications.
Not every employee needs to receive every email - you should allow them to select their preferred means of communication, install personalized salutations, and make sure they only receive communications which are actually relevant or interesting to them.
Providing updates on how the company is doing is important, but it can be frustrating sifting through too many emails trying to find the information that applies to them. Find the proper balance that will engage your workforce and not cause them to ignore or not prioritize your communications to them.
4. Allow more Flexibility/Work-Life Blend
Gone are the days when employees had to absolutely show up at work. Working from home on some days has become the new trend, and progressive organizations are taking up the challenge, as the legendary 9-5 is slowly being transitioned out.
When your employees need to leave the office and take care of personal business whether it be a dentist appointment or a kid’s soccer game, other members of the team can help pick up the slack, giving your employees the peace of mind that when they leave the office, things do not have to fall apart.
Flexible working schedules allow employees to work from home at least some of the time and can lead to increased productivity, reduced burnout, and as a result, can ultimately benefit companies a great deal. Working from home is now easier than ever with all the great virtual team software available out there to help.
The companies that understand the power in flexible working policies are the ones that thrive! Results are rolling in, with this trend that helps employees engage more parts of their lives even as they work.
5. Create Career Pathways and Development Plans
An employee development plan provides your employees with a clear path on how they can advance in their careers and how to hone certain skills that will drive them towards success. If employees see that career goals are attainable and are provided a vision on how to attain them, they will be more engaged and incentivized to stay in the company to pursue those goals.
Provide your employees with personal development plans that help them learn skills and leadership abilities in order to help them reach their full potential. Instead of only considering what the company needs, your development plans need to be individualized and created based on employee interests and skills.
By establishing a great employee development plan, you will see increased motivation among your employees, higher employee retention rates, and superior work being accomplished in the workplace.
6.Using People Analytics and Technology to Measure and Improve Engagement
More than ever before, workplaces are embracing models that encourage the use of performance management software in tracking the unique drivers and challenges of employees; enabling them to have better opportunities, and by so doing, encouraging their engagement and commitment to the company and industry’s progress.
With people analytics joining the emerging trends, employers are able to make better-informed decisions about their workforce. In the process, they are also gaining deeper and more educated insights into recruitment, performance, and employee functionality.
Technological advances are being used to increase employee engagement when utilized constructively in this manner. One example of how technology can be used to measure and drive engagement is through the use of pulse surveys sent out to employees on a regular basis. These simple surveys can gauge different metrics such as employee feelings and overall job satisfaction after certain milestones. Managers can use this feedback to implement changes and then gain more feedback to gauge how those changes affected the organization.
As an employer of labor, you can, with people analytics, locate what is missing from your employee experience and find the right tweaks to reduce employee turnover rate. Have the ability to discover what can go wrong before it does, and to fix it.
Wrapping it Up
These are just some of the trends which if taken seriously, can result in the positive change we seek regarding employee engagement. Keep in mind that all these are just general guidelines and not a one-size-fits-all solution. Every company needs to adapt these trends to fit the individual needs of their workforce and employees.
For more information on how ProSky can help you engage your employees, sign up for a meeting with one of our specialists:
Duncan Kingori From https://www.jestik.com/ has been in the writing profession for a decade now. He has great experience writing informative articles and his work has been appreciated and published in many popular publications. His educational background in communication and public relations has given him a concrete base from which to approach different topics in various niches.