For many decades, the standard model of “work” was based on the concept that the success of an organization is dependent on employees adhering to corporate policies and norms that allow little to no room for individual contribution or creativity. While this rigid model may have been appropriate years ago, we all know that times have changed.
Today, the most reputable companies in world (and their leadership) understand that by allowing people to have more ownership and flexibility, individuals can thrive and ultimately be stronger assets. The fastest and most effective way of making this a reality is by focusing on creating a more human-centric employee experience, which ultimately influences many objectives, including business performance and levels of employee engagement.
We sometimes define the employee experience as the total interplay of touch points and interactions at work. As leaders and communicators, we have several opportunities to influence the employee experience with content, events, benefits, perks – all important and personalizable – now more than ever with modern technology and HR systems. It’s magical how even a simple and personalized email can influence levels of participation and employee engagement.
The conscious acknowledgement of employees and the interpersonal dialogue that can be fostered as a result not only builds trust between employers and employees, but it has been unequivocally proven to increase retention, reduce anxiety and turnover, and build confidence and cohesion for employees at every level. For example, a 2017 study conducted by IBM found that eight out of ten employees felt more engaged when their work was consistent with the core values and mission of their organization. Another recent study conducted by the Workplace Resource Foundation found that increasing employee engagement investments by 10% can increase profits by $2,400 per employee per year.
In today’s dynamic and rapidly evolving business environment, it is an organization’s ability to engage with their employees that most crucially determines its long-term integrity as well as the overall experience of its employees. Having a viable product or service is obviously fundamentally important, but without a unified and empowered employee base, employees will either not believe in, not understand, or not be willing to enthusiastically support the guiding principles of their employer, which can negatively influence progress at every level. Considering this, the question for organizations that are now considering leveling up is not: “should we or can we increase employee engagement levels?” Rather, the question is “where do we start?”.
Here are several inexpensive and easy tactics that you and your business can implement right away to boost employee engagement and enhance overall employee experience:
- Launch a digital communication channel. This may be a modern intranet or personalized company mobile app, for employees to voice questions, comments, or concerns about business-related issues.
- Be audience-centric when developing internal communications. Ask yourself: Does this content address employee concerns? Is this content clear, concise, and up-to-date? Have we provided all of the detail required for people to take action or get more answers?
- Create or update your employer branding. If you were applying for a job at your company, does the employer brand truly convey a sense of what it feels like to work at your organization, today?
- Offer employee benefits packages that are based on the individual needs of your employees. Make sure you have data to support the benefits and perks available and then be open to revisiting the specific offers based on employee feedback and participation levels.
- Breaking away from the norms of the traditional workplace. Pilot new ways of organizing people and your office, including removing cubicles or being more flexible about work hours and locations.
- Check-in with your employees often and face-to-face. People share ideas and perspectives quite differently in person compared to an email or electronic survey.
- Define and communicate your company purpose and mission. Make sure employees know where to go to ask questions or learn more about the process and thinking that contributed to developing this important language.
- Publicly recognize and reward good work. It’s an inherent human need to “look good” and the sad truth is that it is often a missed opportunity for managers and leaders to acknowledge a contribution.
- Balance hard work with hard play. Nothing gets the ideas flowing and the camaraderie built quicker than a group walk through the park, a company kick ball game, happy hour, or anything else outside of the workplace.
While boosting your employee experience and enhancing employee engagement levels is not an overnight trick, the good news is that you can get started right away by implementing one or all of the above tactics. Let us never forget that our employees are individuals, each with his or her own unique perspectives and ideas. If employees feel heard, empowered, and recognized when doing good work, the entire workplace will shift from one characterized by mundane responsibility to one of inspiration and exciting possibility. Your employee engagement journey can start today, but it must be you who makes the choice to take that first step.
If you’re interested in learning more about how some of the most reputable companies in the world tackle these challenges, please visit http://www.intactic.com/, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow us on social media.