Is Your Employee Engagement Strategy, Employee-Friendly?
Quantitative employee engagement surveys often fail to measure employee sentiment due to a lack of qualitative insights. Therefore, hampering the process of employee-centric decision-making. The larger the workforce is, the more diverse are employee needs, and research over the years has proven that an engaged employee is more positive, productive, and proactive.
However, the uprising of the new normal has changed the paradigm of defining ‘engagement at work’; especially, with a majority of our workforces working remotely. If numbers made an impact, these shocking statistics are definitely something for Singaporeans to be concerned about:
According to the Cigna COVID-19 Global Impact Study:
78% are working extended hours
59% end up working on weekends
63% feel more stressed at work
Adding to this, Mercer's Healthy Minds at Work Assessment Asia-wide survey also found that 83% of employees work overtime more than thrice a week.
If your employee engagement strategy is based on routinely conducted pulse surveys, the question that arises then is - Does your employee engagement survey tell you what your employees ‘want’ or what they ‘need’? How tuned is your management to the people's needs?
Just as your policies and SOPs are employee friendly, it's also time to craft an employee engagement strategy that is employee-friendly. Some of the key focuses could be - Offering perks that are relevant to remote working, providing medical benefits to fight the current uncertain times, building a positive work environment that is driven by the people and is self-sustainable.
Here’s an ABC framework to guide you through:
Autonomy of decision making
Overworking leads to exhaustion and fatigue. Depleted levels of productivity and lack of concentration are the most commonly observed traits in such a situation. Along with drawing a mind-map for achieving business goals, also draw a mind-map while allocating work. Your internal communications will only be impactful when the employees have enough bandwidth to efficiently integrate mini breaks into their work routine. Allow people the flexibility to decide their work routine and build a platform for them to speak up. This will allow scope for innovation in everyday operations, and teams can collaborate more often to aid decision-making.
Balanced and consistent communications
With the pandemic forcing people to work from home, how often have you reminded your employees to take their well-deserved ‘paid leaves’ before they lapse? Most often in organizations, employees are not even aware of the existing perks and benefits that can be availed. In such cases, any form of engagement is bound to witness a half-hearted attendance. Building personalized communications helps create a sense of belonging that motivates employees to align with their passion to work. In addition to that, running an engagement campaign that reminds people to avail the existing benefits will prove beneficial. to follow up after this, it's also a good idea to conduct a quiz or a survey and assess how responsive employees have been to the communication. Have they really learnt more about the organizational benefits, or do you need to drive the message better?
Recognition and appreciation positively impact an individual’s psychological functioning. It creates a sense of pride that fuels an individual’s drive to excel. Therefore, providing spot recognition (read instant appreciation) for a job well done, as well as a public acknowledgement across the company’s social media platforms, will help create a positive work culture. A digital engagement activity that showcases employee talent while including their friends and family has become popular these days. Coupled with a culture of everyday appreciation will definitely complement your efforts towards engagement.
The overall approach is to facilitate ‘Employee empathy surveys’- Built on the framework that qualitatively analyses people’s perspectives on the grounds of empathy, it is a more humane approach that understands the challenges at the ground level and helps come up with solutions through employee-centric data. It helps deep-dive into identifying the core problematic areas, asks the right situation based questions, invokes emotions through thought-provoking imagery, and builds recommendations of how to tackle challenges as a team.
Webinars and townhalls have been a part of every engagement strategy. But in order to design an impactful strategy, organizations need to invest more time and efforts on doing the groundwork right. A well-structured and holistic employee experience based on employee data and insights, will help create a better impact on your engagement strategy.