Are you struggling to keep your employees engaged in the current era of hybrid work? You’re not alone! According to a recent survey, only 28% of employees feel highly engaged while working remotely. The problem is real, and if you don’t find a solution, it will ultimately impact job satisfaction and employee productivity. But don’t worry; there are ways to boost employee engagement and keep your team motivated, even in this new way of work.
In this article, we’ll dive into the latest trends and best practices for increasing employee engagement in 2024. We’ll also explore how to effectively navigate hybrid work and keep your employees connected and invested in their work.
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is a measure of how committed and invested employees are in their work and in the company’s success. It is characterized by employees who are motivated, productive, and satisfied with their jobs.
An example of high employee engagement would be a team of employees who consistently go above and beyond their job roles, take initiative on projects, and have a positive attitude toward their work. They are not just clocking their hours but also taking ownership of their role and responsibilities and looking out for opportunities to improve the process and benefit the company.
So, whether you are a business leader, HR professional, or an employee looking for ways to stay engaged, here’s how to increase employee engagement in 2024!
1. Clear Communication:
Clear communication helps foster employee engagement. When leaders communicate clearly, it helps employees understand the company’s mission and goals. They have a clear idea of where they fit into the bigger picture. It helps to build trust and transparency between management and employees and fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment. Conduct regular team meetings, share company-wide updates, and have an open-door policy to promote a culture of communication.
2. Provide employees with opportunities for growth and development:
This can include training programs, mentorship, and internal job mobility. By investing in their employees’ professional development, organizations can help build a more skilled and motivated workforce. Additionally, providing employees with opportunities to take on new challenges and responsibilities can help keep them engaged and motivated.
3. Create a positive and inclusive work culture:
This includes fostering a sense of belonging and encouraging employees to share their ideas and concerns. Employers can also help to create a positive work environment by promoting work-life balance and providing employee benefits such as flexible work hours, mental health support, and wellness programs. When employees see that the company values them and their opinions, they in return become satisfied and engaged at work.
4. Invest in tools and technologies:
In this era of hybrid or remote work, investing in tools and technology will help increase employee engagement. By providing employees with tools that make their work easier, such as automation and collaboration software, organizations can help to increase productivity and improve communication. Some of the commonly used tools are:
Project Management: Trello, Basecamp, etc.
Goal Setting / OKRs: Engagedly, etc.
Communication: Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.
5. Surveys and feedbacks :
Many organizations use employee engagement surveys and feedback to gather data on employee satisfaction and engagement. It helps keep tabs on the current environment in the organization. This data can identify areas for improvement and track progress over time.
Organizations can increase employee engagement by recognizing and rewarding employees for their contributions. This can include formal recognition programs, bonuses, public praise, announcements in newsletters, and other incentives. Additionally, organizations can recognize and celebrate employee milestones, such as birthdays, work anniversaries, and other special events.
Human Resources (HR) drives employee engagement initiatives in an organization. Here’s how they are doing it.
1. The tale behind every storyteller
Storytelling has brought more people together than a cult ever has. For eras now, it has been a soft skill that dominates and influences people’s mindsets, and the HRs of today have mastered this art. Personal storytelling is a good idea for employee engagement. Conduct first-person interviews, with realistic and relatable scenarios where the employees can picture themselves in the story and come to a stage of self-discovery. When employees are engaged, they share their ideas and opinions, work harder, stretch their bandwidth, and work towards the goal of the organization.
2. Be The jack of all trades
As an HR professional, being a jack of all trades contributes to employee engagement. The diverse skill set of an HR professional enables them to work with employees across the organization. From payroll, administration, talent sourcing, employee relations, performance management, and setting office policies and guidelines, they work on practically everything. Their versatile nature of work allows them to offer comprehensive solutions and holistic support to employees. They help employees align their individual goals with the organization’s goals. Their nature of work enables them to create an inclusive and engaging work culture that fosters a sense of belonging.
3. Driving Continuous Transformation and Organizational Growth
A strategic HR department delivers world-class leadership activities. As per the research report at McKinsey, HR fits into a bigger picture and sets out a clear message on “Who we are,” “How we operate,” “How we plan to grow,” and to roll out the below:
HR adopts new prototypes and the latest technology software that promotes effective internal-external collaboration.
Introduces the next-generation performance management system.
Map talent to its actual value, taking employee experience to the next level.
Make better judgments faster and take the right guidance and training from the experts.
In a nutshell, HR is an agent of continuous transformation, shaping processes, and a culture that together enhances an organization’s capacity for change.
4. Networking 101
Whether internal or external, HR professionals are number one when it comes to their networking skills. They are good at establishing connections with all the employees in the organization. They are easily approachable, which helps build a sense of trust and open communication. It results in building strong employee relationships. Networking enables HR to better understand their employees. They understand their needs and aspirations and create tailor-made engagement strategies for them. HRs can also help in the personal and professional growth of employees by establishing learning and development opportunities.
5. Tech-driven organization
Now that HR has fully embraced technology, companies are depending on tech solutions for hiring, onboarding, and engagement. Technology has taken the traditional way of database maintenance using spreadsheets. The virtual world offers organizations a wide range of benefits, and leadership teams are leveraging it to stay connected with employees more often. The use of digital town halls, newsletters, organizational communication, and feedback sessions facilitates a technology-driven, collaborative culture within an organization.
6. Building a safe space in your second home
In a space where you spend most of your day, it is important to keep it healthy, and HR ensures that. It is often said that “changing habits is equal to changing the culture” and it is in HR’s hands to build a healthy culture. From conceptualizing the process of culture to explaining why it directly impacts business outcomes, HR bridges the necessary gaps to propose, facilitate discussions, gather feedback, and incorporate the best practices.
7. The final say in any Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), because why not and who else?
While onboarding a new candidate is a job in itself, retaining the existing ones and making sure they are happy is a challenge that every HR faces. M&As can make employees feel ignored as organizations prioritize their leadership team. As such, employees can end up in somewhat of a holding pattern and feel they aren’t being heard, or that their role has been usurped.
In fact, almost half (47%) of all employees leave a business within a year after a merger or acquisition takes place, and 75% leave within three years. Another challenge is to bring all the HR database and information without any delay in delivery.HR moderates plans strategically and provide self-service tools, communication, centralized databases, and in-depth training to employees.
Takeaway: Invest a huge chunk in employee engagement
Investing in employee engagement is not a one-time effort but a continuous process. It enhances the performance and productivity of the organization while increasing employee satisfaction and motivation. It is a win-win situation for both employees and the company.
Communicating clear goals and expectations: Employees are more engaged when they understand what is expected of them and how their work contributes to the overall success of the company.
Providing opportunities for growth and development: Employees are more engaged when they feel like they are learning and growing in their roles. Offering training and development programs, as well as opportunities for advancement, can help with this.
Recognizing and rewarding good performance: Employees are more engaged when they feel like their hard work is valued and appreciated. Implementing a performance appraisal and recognition program can help with this.
Involving employees in decision-making: Employees are more engaged when they feel like their input is valued and that they have a say in how the company is run. Encouraging employee involvement in decision-making processes can help with this.
Building a positive and inclusive culture: Employees are more engaged when they feel like they belong and are valued as part of the company. Promoting diversity and inclusion and fostering a positive work environment can help with this.
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Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.