Employee engagement as a concept looks at how committed employees are towards their work and their organizations, and what keeps them continually motivated. A McKinsey’s research revealed that employees with higher engagement levels are 20-25 percent more productive, while many other studies have shown the value of higher employee engagement, and the measures companies are adopting to keep their workforces engaged, especially the high potentials. A majority of leaders believe that the most important asset of a company is their employees, but the sentiment holds value in true sense only when the employees are truly engaged. Leaders and managers need to successfully act as navigators to manage the difficult tracks of the new era of transformation if they have to be early adopters/leaders of change, which makes building a culture that is anchored on the values of trust, transparency, and personal accountability in the ecosystem as crucial. Research also reflects that 70 percent of organizational transformation efforts don’t prove to be successful as planned, the reason being, the change process is hard, time-consuming, and usually has higher volatility in form, cost, and time investment. Change can be difficult for employees to adapt to, causes anxiety and affects deliverables when approached improperly. But here is where the true power of engagement lies. Although the steps for improving engagement aren’t complex, they simply must be executed in a structured manner. Below are the steps that can be adopted for the right employee engagement.
Step 1: Get the right people for the job and place them in the right roles
Step 2: Provide proper training and development
Step 3: Assign meaningful/appropriate Work
Step 4: Continuous feedback
Step 5: Frequent engaging communication
Organizations that crack this formula right can see higher financial returns, surge ahead of competition and become aspirational places to work. Digital transformation has completely changed the way companies connect with employees. Today’s workforce is tech-savvy, and companies have to get their digital strategies right to connect, perform better, and have more engaged employees. Leaders need to choose from an array of digital options to support their teams like virtual instruction, gamification, MOOCs (Massive Open Online Course), social platforms to connect and strengthen mass bonding, apps to deal with various work transactions, and platforms to collaborate and innovate.
Using the power of digital to help employees engage, collaborate, and communicate with a focus on making extraordinary people deliver extraordinary results is crucial for ongoing engagement. Thus, it is always essential to take the first step right and provide an experience that is delightful for all the employees. For example, organizations can consider Welcome Cards to be sent to employees a few days before joining; Social media platforms can be used to establish bonhomie and sharing between existing and new employees; Current employees can share their experiences of the work environment in a unique and creative way through various mediums; Pre-joining informal meeting can happen between new entrants and their Managers/Team members/ Buddies; and Gamification in a pre-join program can give a good glimpse of strengths and areas of improvements of new entrants in a simulation environment.
Employers need to focus on the intent over content, communicate it in a transparent manner, build a culture of respect, acknowledge everyone individually, collectively drive unified company values, ensure collaboration, engage employees at every stage of the business life cycle, and enable the business and stakeholders digitally.