We spend such a large amount of our time at work that to do so in a role that doesn’t spark any enthusiasm is a colossal waste of human potential. When we are engaged in our work, it enhances our sense of our well-being and is a positive force in our lives. Still, many business owners do not know how to start measuring employee engagement.
This guide seeks to answer these questions; it is for business owners, leaders, managers, or anyone else who wishes to create a workplace where trust, integrity, commitment, and well-being are essential.
Why is employee engagement important?
At its core, employee engagement is about creating a workplace that enables all employees of an organisation to achieve their potential every day, working towards the achievement of the organisation’s mission, embracing the values, while feeling a sense of well-being in themselves.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development defines employee engagement as:
“being positively present during the performance of work by willingly contributing intellectual effort, experiencing positive emotions and meaningful connections to other”.
Or, put another way, David MacLeod, founder of Engage for Success (a charity founded to elevate the importance of employee engagement,) says it is about “how we create the conditions in which employees offer more of their capability and potential”.
He says it is not about trying to make all your employees happy by providing perks such as discount gym membership or free fruit. It is the process of understanding your workforce and shaping the workplace such that you reinforce positive attitudes and behaviours, developing a workforce that is proud to work there.
How employee engagement can boost retention
Discover the secrets to creating an irresistible company culture in our latest guide, packed with actionable tips and templates.
Who does employee engagement impact?
Providing good working conditions for employees is nothing new and most responsible employers cover the basics very well. Managing engagement is more than covering the basics though and getting it right can have an impact far more significant than what might be immediately apparent.
The impact on employers is clear, as evidenced in the benefits of having engaged employees Find me a manager who isn’t interested in reducing absenteeism, increasing staff retention, and raising levels of motivation within the workforce, and I’ll show you a micromanaging autocrat. Those who are interested in such things should be monitoring engagement levels among their team, as this is a leading indicator for much of the above.
For employees, the benefits of working in a company that looks out for your well-being and provides work that is rewarding and stimulating seem obvious enough. Who doesn’t want that from their work? I certainly do, and I’m sure you also do.
But the case for improving employee engagement extends well beyond benefits derived by the immediate participants in the employee/employer relationship.
A 2017 report from Deloitte, a big four consultancy, and Mind, the mental health charity, found that the benefits of employee engagement impact the whole of society due of the positive correlation between high levels of employee engagement and positive mental health. In 2015-16, work-related stress accounted for 45% of all working days lost due to ill-health, totalling 488,000 reported cases of work-related stress, anxiety or depression.
A mentally healthy workplace and increased employee engagement are interdependent – by looking after employee’s mental wellbeing, staff morale and loyalty, innovation, productivity and profits will rise.
Emma Mamo, Head of Workplace Wellbeing, Mind
When asking the question “who does employee engagement impact?”, the answer must surely be everyone. Good mental health and positive engagement are so closely linked that for the benefit of us all – as employers and employees, as friends, neighbours, and carers – we must all take this matter seriously.
How can I measure employee engagement?
“We know presenteeism is a problem, we just don’t know how to measure it.”
Large manufacturing company (Source: Deloitte)
Knowing where to start can be difficult. Do you start by integrating it into the performance management process and asking engagement questions? You could, but employees will likely to guarded in a face-to-face discussion which prevents you from getting real, valuable insights.
Some companies choose to distribute employee engagement surveys. While this approach is better than doing nothing, it means insights can only be garnered once every twelve months, and a lot can happen in that time! Tracking engagement with a more regular survey – monthly or quarterly – can provide insights with enough regularity that you should be able to track the impact of any actions you take following a survey.
Analysing the results of an engagement survey can require a significant investment in time. It is recommended that an engagement survey is designed so that it can be completed in 15 minutes or less, otherwise, busy employees become, somewhat ironically, disengaged while completing it.
Rather than sending out a lengthy survey, many companies are switching to more frequent pulse surveys. These can be sent as frequently as once per week, although many will choose to conduct them on a monthly or quarterly basis. These shorter surveys will usually consist of two or three simple questions; as such, they can typically be completed in under three minutes and then interpreting the data can be completed at a glance, rather than taking many days to collate the results and conduct an extensive review. To keep the surveys short and the data consistent, it helps to ask the same question regularly. For this, we recommend the Employee Net Promoter Score.
Employer net promoter score
You may not be familiar with the term Net Promoter Score (NPS), but you will likely have completed a Net Promoter Score survey at some point in your life. NPS is a survey focused on a customer’s experience of dealing with a company, and you often receive them via email following a purchase from a website. The format is always the same, and it will ask “How likely is it that you would recommend (this product, service, company) to a colleague or friend?” with the answer presented on a 0 – 10 scale ranging from Very Unlikely to Very Likely; This is known as “The Ultimate Question”.
The Employee Net Promoter Score is an adapted version of the Net Promoter Score, where the survey recipients are employees rather than customers. The question will also be slightly different, asking “On a scale of zero to ten, how likely is it you would recommend this company as a place to work?”
Each employee will choose a number between zero and ten. Those who give a score between zero and six are classified as detractors, those scoring seven or eight are passives, and those scoring nine or ten are promoters.
Detractors are those who rate your company between 0 – 6 on the NPSNPS survey. This score tells us that they are not particularly satisfied in their role or with the company. These employees are likely to hurt customer satisfaction levels as well as negatively affect their colleagues.
Passives are those to rate your company between 7 – 8 on the eNPS survey. They are neither emotionally invested nor disengaged in their role or the company. The scores are not includedinn your eNPS calculation.
Promoters are those who rate your company between 9 – 10 on the NPS survey. You can expect these employees to be loyal, hardworking individuals who speak highly of the company. They will be advocates for the business, and their word-of-mouth recommendations can be used to attract recruits or new customers. These employees will typically have a positive influence on customer satisfaction.
Calculating an eNPS score
Once you have collected all of the responses, you then need to calculate your score. To calculate the NPS score, you need to subtract the percentage of detractors from the percentage of promoters; the number of passives is used to calculate the number total number of respondents. The score will be between -100 and 100
Example eNPS score
To keep the example easy to follow, we will use a total number of 100 respondents.
Detractors – 20
Passives – 50
Promoters – 30
Total – 100
This means our calculation is 30% (promoters) minus 20% (detractors), giving us an employee net promoter score of 10.
Alongside your NPS survey question, you should also be asking for feedback from your employees to garner more detailed answers about why they gave that score. You can start by asking a simple question such as “What is the main reason for your score?”.
Personalising the feedback question so that it reflects the score given is a good way of increasing the response rate. For example, asking detractors “What could we do to improve your experience?” shows them that there is an intention to make things better in the future.
9 signs you have an employee management problem
Managing a business when you can step out onto the floor and see your staff hard at work is tough. Managing a workforce that’s spread across multiple locations, and not contactable via a laptop or PC, is so much harder.
Emails won’t reach them.
They’re not always able to answer the phone.
They’re not going to visit a page or portal online to get updates on the business.
So how do you keep them engaged, motivated and working hard for you? What if it’s already too late? Here are nine signs that you have an employee engagement problem. (And some advice to fix it.)
1. Your rules and regulations aren’t being followed
For health and safety, insurance and general quality control, you’ve introduced rules, policies and procedures that you need your staff to follow. You’ve communicated them to your managers to pass on. You’ve put posters up on all of your sites. You’ve even tried sending employees letters. However, the rules are not being followed and it’s putting your team and the business at risk.
2. You spend more time nagging than you do praising
As rules aren’t being followed, you and your managers spend more time than you’d like reprimanding staff. It’s creating an uncomfortable working environment. Plus, you’re nowhere near getting to a position to start recognising and rewarding good work. This means high performers are ignored and become demotivated and the quality of work drops further.
3. You’re not clear on how to inspire and motivate your staff
With no means to communicate with your team effectively, you don’t have a relationship with them. This means you know very little about them, what drives them and how to reengage them. As a result, you’re unable to learn from problems and things get worse.
4. Employees take a lot of sick days and absences
You know you have an employee engagement problem when staff don’t even bother to show up for work. If they don’t care about doing a good job for you, they won’t worry about taking too many sick days, being late or absent. This in turn affects operations, your business reputation, and ultimately, sales.
5. Training takes a long time and you’re unsure of how much each member of staff requires
Without a formal system in place to review every employee’s performance and training record, you don’t have a clear picture of their strengths and weaknesses. As a result, you end up sending people on unnecessary training courses or missing gaps in their knowledge. This, therefore, makes the training process a large and ineffective expense.
6. Money is the only thing that keeps staff
Because you’re not spotting and rewarding good work, and you’re unable to motivate your staff. You’re not giving them training, nights out or whatever else it is they need. Instead, you end up having to pay higher salaries than your competitors just to keep your team from jumping ship. This would be fine if you were paying for the best but because you are unable to enforce training and check progression, the priority is having enough staff, not having the best staff.
7. Turnover is high
Even though you offer higher salaries, staff are still leaving, seeking proof of the rumours they’ve heard about the better working conditions offered by your competitors. This high turnover means there is a disruption to operations and you have to pay out for expensive temporary staff to plug gaps.
8. Recruiting is hard work
With so many people moving on, and little in the way of training, progression and other benefits available to offer to new staff, the recruitment process is very difficult. As a result, it all comes down to salary. On top of this and the recruitment costs, time is required to onboard new team members which means your most experienced staff are taken away from the job at hand to train.
9. Your PR team is doing more fire-fighting than promting your business
What starts out small – a few errors or late deliveries – if not spotted and fixed, lead to much bigger issues. If quality control is not being enforced, and if staff don’t care about doing the best job they can, bigger things occur, leading to injury, complaints and legal suits. If your business is big enough, you may have already been subject to some media enquiries, forcing you to divert your marketing budget to crisis communications support. Negative press leads to unhappy customers, even less engaged staff, and an even harder recruitment process.
It’s a scary picture we’ve painted and it’s unlikely you face all of these problems but it is wise to make a change before the situation gets worse.
What can you do to fix it?
Fortunately, all of these problems can be solved, even if your staff are not desk-based or use laptops or PCs. You can put a mobile phone app-based system in place for your remote workforce that enables two-way communication, training, rewards, holiday tracking, job booking and more. Operating as a mobile intranet, all employees have access to the system wherever they are and whatever they are doing.
Each employee can see their performance, training schedule and progression opportunities. They can learn about the business and their colleagues. They can opt-in to acquire new skills and qualifications and build a closer working relationship with their line manager through regular evaluation and recognition features.
Just because you can’t see your staff, doesn’t mean you can’t empower them to work hard for you and love your business as much as you do. The sooner you take action, the easier it will be to solve.
How can we impact the levels of engagement?
Once you have an understanding of how engaged employees are, you will probably want to know how to improve the engagement score over time. The first thing to note is that, by merely conducting employee engagement surveys, you are taking a positive step towards understanding the current level of job satisfaction at your workplace and using that information to create a better-engaged workforce. The following suggestions are designed to help you continue that process:
Listen to the employee feedback
The most crucial factor in positively impacting engagement measures will be how well you address the feedback you receive. One of the quickest ways to turn a passive employee into a detractor is to ignore their feedback consistently. Whenever you are undertaking an employee voice exercise – whether that is via the NPS surveys or another format – not responding to the input makes employees believe the whole process is a waste of time.
If you uncover some common themes in the feedback, make sure you address them. This could be by simply fixing the issue, if practically possible, or by setting up an employee working group to discuss ways that the issue could be tackled should it require more thought.
Try encouraging your employees to provide feedback that is not anonymous and promote a culture of honest feedback. This will make it much easier to address an issue with an employee directly if their feedback does not impact a wider group.
Provide a strategic narrative
Where information is missing, people have a habit of filling in the gaps themselves. This is just as true of our companies and workforce, as it is about news stories and the general public.
Business leaders and communications professionals must provide the workforce with a clear and compelling vision for the organisation. This strategic narrative should explain where did we come from, where are we now, and where are we heading in the future. Employees should understand the big picture so that they can make sense of the decisions that are made and how the changes will impact them.
The narrative should tell the story of the organisation and its people, communicating the purpose of the organisation with clarity. This should help people feel they belong to something bigger than themselves and shows them how they are a part of shaping the future.
Having a compelling strategic narrative helps to bring meaning into your employees’ working lives and should motivate them to bring their best selves to the workplace.
Develop engaging managers
You’ve probably heard the saying “people don’t leave companies, they leave bad managers.” Here at StaffCircle, we’re not sure we agree with that, but we do believe bad managers contribute significantly to why people would choose to leave a company.
The relationship between manager and employee is an essential element for maintaining a healthy and engaged team. Being a good manager isn’t about being everybody’s friend; it requires a coaching mindset and the right approach to having difficult conversations. Good managers are clear when setting objectives, making sure everyone understands the expectations placed upon them, and being direct when delivering feedback.
Rather than finding fault in the individual, a good manager will deliver clear feedback and work with the individual to improve the process.
“Engaging managers make each of us feel part of the team. Engaging managers agree with us on clear objectives and show us how our work contributes to the organisation’s objectives. Engaging managers coach us and stretch us and bring the best out of us.”
Engaging Managers, Engage For Success
Embrace organisational integrity
In the research conducted by Engage For Success on what it looks like to have high levels of employee engagement and high levels of performance, organisational integrity stood out as a common theme. This means “the values on the wall are reflected in day-to-day behaviours. There is no ‘say–do’ gap. Promises made are promises kept or an explanation given as to why not.”
If employees experience a disconnect between what leaders say and what they do, it leads to a breakdown in trust. This is especially true when thinking about our company values. Consider the hypocrisy of an organisation that repeatedly encourages one behaviour but managers display another. When employees experience this ‘say–do gap’, they begin to question everything that management says.
To create a culture of integrity, put into place a rewards and recognition scheme that celebrates those who demonstrate the behaviours you wish to see. Use these rewards to reinforce company values throughout the workforce.
What difference should an employee engagement programme make?
By not only devising a plan of attack to improve employee engagement but also by TELLING your workforce about it, you’ll see benefits in all of the areas outlined above.
Of course, employee engagement affects different businesses in different ways because there are so many factors at play such as the number of offices, number of staff, sector and market position, and experience of management.
However, despite these differences, every company can make a significant impact by improving their communications with employees.
What will happen if you don’t do anything to tackle low-engagement?
We believe that the negative impact of doing nothing to address poor engagement levels far outweighs the positive impact of taking action because the risks of the former are so frightening. And it largely comes down to money.
A recent piece of research found that the average cost of replacing an employee in a business is £30,614. This “cost” comes from:
- The dip in productivity while person leaving works their notice
- Recruitment fees to replace a staff member
- Onboarding and training costs to get the new team member up to speed
- Any drop in revenue caused by a gap in resourcing
Given that employee engagement impacts staff turnover so heavily, this is a cost that can be largely avoided by stepping up employee communications and interaction.
But that’s not the only financial risk. There are also associated costs from other outcomes of poor employee engagement, namely absenteeism, low productivity and reputational damage. We’ve outlined them all in our recent piece on the cost of poor employee engagement. It makes for uncomfortable reading, you have been warned!
SO IF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IS THIS IMPORTANT, WHAT CAN YOU DO?
As mentioned above, no two businesses are the same so while we have a lot of guides you can follow to improve your employee engagement yourself, the easiest step you can take is to find an employee engagement platform that will do the job for you. StaffCircle’s app-based system means your company news, brand values, staff performance records and other information is easily accessible to all from a mobile phone, PC, laptop or tablet.
Employee engagement: the theory
There’s been a shift taking place in workplaces around the globe. The shift places emphasis on the concept of employee engagement. While the shift and emphasis have taken place and continue to gain momentum, it still can be complicated to define, difficult to measure and even more elusive to succeed at.
How to win at employee engagement:
Take two steps back
It’s important to know (not guess) what your employees want. Many management teams offer perks or motivational programs that don’t sync with what employees desire. By speaking with key team members and creating anonymous opportunities for employees to provide feedback, you may learn key insights into what could very well be the secret sauce needed to amp up employee engagement in your business.
Improve basics if needed
An audit of your human resources functions may also be in order. Are you paying your employees fairly? Is your benefits package comprehensive enough and competitive as related to your market? Are there obstacles in the way of employees trying to perform their day-to-day tasks? What other basic HR improvements could help improve overall employee satisfaction and help you work toward optimal employee engagement? Get the foundational stuff in order first, or your efforts to succeed at employee engagement could be thwarted before they even begin.
Training, training and more training
The business that focuses on ongoing training typically logs higher levels of employee engagement. Empowered, knowledgeable employees are on the path toward engagement. Ongoing training programs will get you closer to an engaged workforce.
USE TECHNOLOGY TO SUPPORT YOUR MISSION
Countless tools are available in today’s marketplace, but only the top performers are truly designed to help you create a high-performing, engaged team. Look for tools that can help you drive toward employee engagement.
- Performance Management: A powerful tool to unify team objectives and performance for all employees, accessible anywhere. StaffCircle’s performance management suite offers visual dashboards, performance review tools, cross-department syncs and third-party software integration as well as reward and incentive tools.
- Communication Tools: Clear and consistent communication is imperative as you guide your team toward optimal engagement, but it gets harder and harder with geographically spread out teams, non-desk employees and remote workers. The StaffCircle platform helps your organisation create communication initiatives that keep everyone in the know – wherever they may be.
- People Management: The StaffCircle people management tool offers simplicity for employee connections through directories, workforce sentiment gauges, accessible onboarding and HR documents, engagement measurement tools and more.
There is strong evidence showing that the trend toward employee engagement is not going away. When it comes to investing in this area of your human resources, the return on increased engagement is solid. Employee engagement is only successful in environments where trust and two-way communication exist.
Employee engagement increases performance, productivity and well-being. Successes in this area also contribute to positive cultures and create employee recruiting and retention success. StaffCircle’s powerful HR platform can help your business move toward employee engagement objectives. It’s easy to use and can integrate with many popular third-party tech tools.
The boundless benefits of employee engagement
At the centrepiece of today’s human resources strategy is the objective of employee engagement. Employee engagement is top of mind in the C-suite for good reason, the numbers show how much it matters.
In fact, Gallop reports that employee disengagement costs American businesses 500 billion dollars annually. Even though the costs of failing at employee engagement are steep, the same report from Gallop tells us that businesses aren’t winning at employee engagement revealing that only 30% of employees report feeling engaged at work.
How employee engagement can help your business succeed
So, while organisations embark on the daunting journey toward successful employee engagement, it is a worthy exercise to review why it all matters. Employee engagement offers many tangible and intangible benefits to the business.
It creates a recruiting advantage
Attracting top talent is a challenge facing companies across the globe, especially in fields like medicine and technology. Adding to the mix is the fact that employees today are motivated by more than just a paycheck. They want to work in a place that offers career growth, a sense of belonging and positive culture. To sum it up, they want to find a job at an organisation where they will feel engaged. With the transparency and information access that the internet allows job seekers through Glassdoor, Google Reviews and social media platforms, it’s easier than ever for potential new hires to peer inside the four walls of the company to search for engagement in practice.
It lifts up employee retention rates
Recruiting, onboarding and training can be a top-line business expense. In today’s competitive job market, retaining top talent is an imperative that is equally as important as recruiting said talent. When the workforce is engaged and happy, your employees will be less likely to look elsewhere for employment – no matter how many options they may have.
It impresses investors
Investors have a keen understanding of how employee engagement can be a thermometer for the future success of the business. For this reason, they look for metrics that demonstrate strides in this area, and may even avoid opportunities if the engagement numbers are subpar.
It increases productivity
Your engaged workforce is likely to be a more productive force. When employees are engaged with their work and feel content with their position, they share a connection to the high-arching vision of the company, they are more likely to produce their best work at the highest rates of productivity.
It encourages innovation
When your employees are working at the fullest point of engagement, there is a strong likelihood of innovation. Innovation, in many industries, is the vital force that keeps your business moving forward. Innovation can offer a competitive edge, the ability to move into new markets and lock in your organisation’s long-term success.
It improves CX
CX is the buzzword, or acronym to be more accurate, that operations managers, CMOs and CEOs are looking at to decipher how the customer experience is going throughout the buying process and beyond.
So, why do they care so much about CX?
It not only defines the brand, but can also be the deciding factor for buyer behaviour.
In fact, American Express recently published data that showed up to 60% of customers surveyed were willing to pay more for a better, more positive experience. As the workforce is more engaged, they will be empowered to provide a deeper and stronger customer experience at every touchpoint.
While employee management is the coveted objective on top of today’s human resources strategy documents, measuring it is not as simple as crunching a few numbers or running a report. Like most things in business without tangible and easy-to-interpret data, any initiative to improve employee engagement may fall short for mystery reasons due to your lack of insight. Using a technology platform such as StaffCircle’s employee engagement software can help you not only improve your engagement but also find effective ways to measure it over time.
Unpacking your engagement strategies
Employee engagement strategies matter more than ever before as the global job market becomes increasingly competitive, and employees seek a deeper connection to their workplace. Companies are looking for ways to finetune (or begin implementing) engagement strategies that actually work and can be measured, but it’s no easy feat.
The Real-world Challenges of Attracting (+ Retaining) Top Employees:
- Duke University’s School of Business recently published survey results that 50% of business executives are prioritising employee engagement metrics over other factor influences such as productivity, creativity, profitability, firm value and growth rates.
- Millennials, which comprise the fastest-growing group in today’s workforce, seek engaged workplaces that support engagement, strong culture and room for personal growth.
- The Ladders, a leading recruiting website, interviewed top companies worldwide about their hiring challenges and nearly all of the challenges listed were related to attracting top talent, competing for their attention and retaining them once hired.
Companies that win at employee engagement strategies take a 360-degree approach to their workforces. This holistic strategy will start at the hiring phase and continue to be reinforced, nurtured and measured throughout the entire organisation on a regular basis. Companies like Google, Apple and Starbucks lead the pack in this area, garnering reputations as companies that care about their employees.
How to implement a successful engagement strategy
Get smart about recruiting and hiring
Hiring employees that are a good fit, are already enthusiastic about their work and who bring a positive attitude with them to any job is a key foundational element of your successful employee engagement strategy.
No matter how coveted the talented new employee may be, if he or she isn’t a good fit for your employee engagement strategy goals, this may not be a good hire.
Here are some tips for baking your employee engagement strategy into the hiring process:
- Be honest about the job description and the company vision.
- Incorporate questions or tests around the strategy into the interview phase.
- When checking references, touch upon work engagement traits at previous employers.
Bake your strategy into training
An engagement strategy should be front and centre in your training programme. That training programme should apply to new hires, newly promoted employees as well as ongoing training initiatives for the business.
Create a communication strategy
You should not follow a “set it and forget it” model. An ongoing communication campaign helps reinforce your engagement strategy. Incorporate rewards and recognition for top employees to encourage performance.
Understand how you’re doing (and keep checking)
In the area of metrics and measurement, many companies fall short of their mission for a well-executed employee strategy. To truly understand how engaged your employees are, you have to develop KPIs and benchmarks by which to measure it by. Your first step to creating a measurable engagement strategy is to define it.
Once defined, you can develop mechanisms to help you measure employee engagement:
- Internal surveys
- Personal growth milestones
- Reward & recognition programs
- Content engagement
- One-on-one check-ins
- Exit interviews
The key, of course, is to compile the data and then act upon it to keep your employee engagement strategy moving forward in a positive direction.
Use technology to support your mission
Many technology software options are available to support your employee engagement efforts. StaffCircle offers a robust and easy-to-use solution that can help you implement, improve and measure your employee engagement strategy with a suite of features such as:
- One-tap surveys to help measure employee happiness and satisfaction
- Feedback tool to help you gather actionable intel from your employees
- Easy-to-digest tools to spread and reinforce your company values
- Employer net promoter score to keep a finger on the pulse of engagement in your organisation
Improving employee engagement with digital tools
Staff output has sat at the heart of successful business operations for many generations. As such, employee engagement should be a priority for all owners and HR teams. In a world where workforces are both diverse and spread out over several locations, digital tech can be used to maximise productivity.
Incorporate digital tools into these five aspects of the engagement strategies, and positive results will show in no time.
Without new skills and responsibilities, employees can become both bored and unmotivated. After all, there’s nothing to keep them interested. Meanwhile, they may also believe that their careers are stagnating rather than progressing.
Modern technology aids staff development through digital training features. Firstly, this signals a cost-effective approach for the business. More importantly, though, video media and interactive learning tools inspire greater retention. In turn, this creates more satisfied employees and a stronger overall workforce.
A competitive nature is part of our human DNA. The gamification of various work activities can be the ideal solution to drive employees on to better results. Incorporate a reward system too, and productivity levels throughout the business are sure to soar.
Digital tools and software can be used to track an array of metrics. Likewise, it’s possible for employees to monitor the results of their colleagues, which can be a huge source of motivation. Whether competing against themselves or each other, this improves engagement in a fun manner.
Most employees rely heavily on digital tools in their daily lives, and the ones which are tailored to their needs keep them occupied for longer. This is equally true when dealing with business tools. Frankly, without a personal connection, the employee’s attention span will fade.
Software designs should be built with the employee’s perspective in mind at all times. Depending on the nature of the tech tool, the ability to customise layouts to place added emphasis on the right elements can be key. If the user is comfortable interacting with those items, they will stay engaged.
It’s the oldest saying in the manual, but teamwork truly does make the dream work. Digital tools allow employees to work in collaboration, even when separated by huge distances. When engaging with each other, it’s only natural that workers will engage with the work too.
There are many ways to encourage collaboration using digital tools. From file sharing and joint access to documents, those ideas boost productivity and reduce the likelihood of mistakes. Besides, the rewards of joint success and closer working relationships can only boost morale levels.
From an employee’s perspective, there’s nothing worse than feeling like there is no support. The nature of the modern business makes it hard for mid-to-large-sized companies to offer face-to-face support to all employees.
Digital tools with instant communication and regular feedback, both good and bad, is vital. Essentially, technology can be used to bridge the gap created by an absence of face-to-face communication. Use it wisely, and the results will shine through.
7 Fascinating employee engagement trends
The technology available to support HR and internal communications teams has been impressive for some time. Communication, automation and sophisticated analytics have made such a difference. But what’s coming next?
Here are 7 employee engagement trends for 2022 to look out for.
1. Virtual reality
Although the phrase virtual reality (VR) has been used for some time, its use in the workplace isn’t yet commonplace. That’s not to say it won’t be soon. For use in training scenarios such as customer management, machinery use, and other simulation exercises, VR can be a cost-effective way of training people quickly and effectively. It will also give you major brownie points with your younger workforce who’ll find this far more appealing than webinars and on-site training courses. A sure-fire way to get your employees motivated and engaged.
2. Natural language processing
For HR to succeed, it’s important to listen to employees. But if you have thousands, you can’t capture the views of everyone face-to-face or over the phone. That’s why automation has done so well. Surveys, polls and feedback forms have given businesses a wealth of information on how employees are feeling and how motivated they are. But the challenge is that not everyone writes in formal English. Slang, abbreviations and colloquialisms are used. And with so many of the UK working population having English as a second language, there’s a challenge there too.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is AI that enables computers to understand and process human languages. This means they can read a section of text and interpret it for analysis and use.
If your business uses a lot of remote workers, from different countries, this may be the tool for you.
Number 3 on the list of employee engagement trends for 2022 is gamification.
Just as consumer brands use gamification methods to engage customers (and increase followers, build successful referral campaigns and generate more sales), businesses can use this emerging technology to engage their workforce too.
Consider the tasks that are not core to your workforce’s job responsibilities but vital for a happy business. For example, these could be a tidy office, regular social events, car-sharing, living the company values, charity work and a mentoring programme for new employees. You’re not paying the workforce to do any of these but you’d really like them to take responsibility for them.
To do this, turn it into a game whereby discretionary effort or achievements towards any of the list above result in points. Effort is recorded automatically using classification software. And the points tally is shared publicly in real-time on the company intranet.
The competition will spur people on to do more than you could have thought possible.
It can also work for core day-to-day tasks like customer satisfaction, on-time deliveries, the volume of sales generated. But hopefully, you don’t need to resort to gamification to get people to do their day jobs!
4. Predictive analysis
Sure, we know the value of data in helping us make decisions and understand more about past activity but the ability to better predict future patterns in behaviour is now here.
For employee engagement, you’ll be able to predict and prevent the times and causes of employee stress or dissatisfaction and look at how changes in operation might affect staff.
With staff turnover costing businesses £30,000 per year per employee, being able to anticipate issues before they happen will save your business a great deal.
With every new technology or system comes new ways of working and new expectations. To ensure your business can make the most of all of the new changes, training needs to be a core objective for the year ahead.
Online learning is available on every topic imaginable, from photography to public speaking, so if your company isn’t delivering personal development to a similar standard, you’ll let your employees down.
Businesses that can deliver training to all staff on multiple platforms will be the ones that see the most success in 2022. And the happiest employees.
6. Health and wellbeing
This year, World Mental Health Day gained more attention than ever before. Furthermore, celebrities are also championing campaigns on the subject – it’s a hot topic. Companies must apply more focus to the health and wellbeing of their employees going forward, or face reputational damage.
Such a delicate subject, it’s not something an online form could (or should) address, so a safer alternative is to invest in programmes company-wide to encourage people to talk to peers about their feelings and work pressures. Wellness initiatives like on-site counsellors, enforced “fresh air” time and the supply of free fruit and bottled water will also make a difference.
Companies spend thousands on their brand development which includes brand values, tone of voice and brand promise. The reason behind all of this is to help employees represent the company appropriately and consistently in every public interaction they have.
With new channels emerging all the time for customer interaction, consumers have countless ways to assess and critique your business. Businesses that invest in internal communication tools that make the brand clear to all employees – remote, part-time and temporary – will ensure that blips in performance don’t happen.