Employee engagement has become one of the biggest challenges for the HR team, especially during the Covid-19 crisis. Gallup defined that engagement comes mostly from relationships; and when working remotely, team members might find detachment. Working remotely puts a strain on an employee’s ability to build bonds. Statistics from Instant Offices showed that self-isolation and health-related anxiety is surging during the implementation of work-from-home arrangements.
If left unaddressed, health-related anxiety and self-isolation could lead to depression and disengagement. A study concerning Job Engagement co-authored by Hu, He, and Zhou found that the ongoing presences of Covid-19 are leading many in the workforce to experience anxiety that results in significant reductions in engagement. Looking at an information technology firm as an example of a standard workforce, the researchers found that concern over the virus has lowered engagement levels, which further lead to less motivation, work slowdowns, and struggle over the purpose and meaning of life.
The Job Engagement’s experiment is conducted twice. The first experiment was done by surveying 163 employees twice a day to measure their levels of anxiety and job engagement at noon and evening. The researchers also collected information on whether career development felt like a priority to each employee’s supervisors. The finding disclosed that the lower the emphasis on a career track, the higher the disengagement tended to be.
The second experiment included 282 participants of another company, but with the same purpose – which is to measure anxiety and job engagement. Similar to the first experiment, increased feelings of anxiety and a focus on mortality proved to be significant distractions in the workplace, causing lowering engagement levels and less productivity.
Lower productivity, losing interest in one’s work, and unable to handle job responsibility could impact a company’s production. Therefore, business leaders together with human resources management should always be ready to respond to the root causes of disengagement and address it accordingly.
Improving talent engagement will eventually improve the way company resources are utilized. When an employee is engaged in his work, it follows that he gives more to the work than expected; projects get done ahead of time, while the employee is awarded with merit. Engaged employees also help multiply team’s success with hundreds or thousands more. As for employers, you will get an organisation that is highly productive and profitable. Engaged employees take pride in becoming a big part of that success; somehow it is their way of giving back to the company that takes care of them.
If you aspire to build a company that takes good care of its people, ensure your talent engagement strategies are in place. Below are some ideas and activities you can implement to boost employee engagement during a crisis, normal days, and beyond.
As mentioned earlier, employee engagement comes from a relationship – and a good relationship is shaped by having good interaction or communication. Nothing beats a healthy working environment where creativity is very much encouraged instead of competition among co-workers. Eventually, having good and managed communication will result in a healthy workplace.
What it means here is to accept your employees as they are. Accept their background, race, beliefs, etc. None is really better than the other. Acknowledging each talent’s strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to take on work challenges that will display those strengths is a clear sign of trust. When trust is given, employees are encouraged to try their best and what might come after is a self-discovery of their true potential.
Do not limit the opportunities you can provide for your people to “shine”. If it is part of their plans to take on new challenges or roles, allow them to demonstrate that. As a manager, you are tasked to support the way they carry on decisions and encourage a leadership attitude. Recognise employee’s mistakes as well but don’t take it too personally. Mistakes are unavoidable during growth – and all you need to do is to support them by taking on the mistakes as a stepping stone to rise higher.
Training is always a win-win situation for the organisation and the employee. New skills mean improved productivity and profit to the company while the same translates to merit for the employee. Continuous training is one of the benefits employees look for when deciding to work for a company.
Managers and higher-ups must walk the talk on leadership, values formation, good camaraderie, trust and motivation; anything good is always worth emulating. Good leaders inspire effortlessly and resonate a positive attitude at work that is sustaining.
Employees often bog down in repetitive tasks and might forget what they love about their profession. As a manager, it is your job to remind your people how important their job is to the company. Your daily reminder might become a booster to your people to always remember why they do and work in your company for the first place.
You should not be confused with giving your team more tasks to do, with responsibility. Giving responsibility means giving your employees important projects and initiatives to take ownership of and knock out of the park. Humans are inherently goal-oriented, so when you give them something worth achieving, you will be amazed at how much your employees develop and shine.
Good health is true wealth. Staying healthy and well is important. It makes us feel better, happier, and ultimately helps us be more productive. Numerous studies have also shown that wellness programs not only provide health benefits but also improve retention, reduce sick time and increase productivity.
Humans are naturally curious individuals. While some dig information by themselves, some others prefer to wait for information to come their way. How does it relate to employee engagement? Well, keeping your people up to date with ‘inside’ information will greatly help employees feel more engaged with the company. People want to be in the know, and disclosing ‘inside’ company’s information to employees means you trust them. One thing to note is that be selective as to not disclose sensitive information, such as employee’s information or vulnerability.
We all need a booster. And one of ways to boost employee engagement and motivation is by inviting a motivational speaker. Employees will be grateful for the opportunity to grow and learn from experts. This experience will come out as “something worth telling for” and help strengthen the positive energy and focus within your team.
If you are a leader at your organisation, your team probably gets to hear you talk most of the time. Share your responsibilities and increase engagement by asking a different person to lead your meetings every week. Besides increasing engagement, this strategy helps increase employee’s leadership skills.
This strategy is the same as having a role chance but for a day. You can send out an excel sheet with a list of positions in your company or department and have employees vote for a position they would like to do for a day. Let them choose and give them training before they launch into their day on the job.
Your surroundings affect how you work and react to things. Even though it might seem superficial at first glance, giving your employees a chance to be more invested in what they look at every day could do wonders for engagement. After all, a comfortable place does increase our motivation to work and be more productive. And personal touches will make the office feel like home.
These are the 13 ideas – what activities has your company done to increase employee engagement?