A large section of the employees today does not seem to be engaged in their work as much they are needed to be. This lack of engagement is the lack of incentives received by them through the organization. Employee Engagement is an approach adopted by organizations to ensure that the employees are content with their work and reach their potential at the most.
However, where does employee engagement stem from, what are its types and different elements? In this blog, we discuss all of the above, in addition to some ideas to keep your employees engaged virtually.
Employee engagement ensures that the workforce is emotionally and intellectually invested in the company’s work objectives and willingly make efforts to increase their work output. Engaged employees are aware of their company’s purposes, and understand how they fit into those goals, or how they can help achieve these goals.
Employee engagement in an organization can be measured with the help of surveys to analyse the situation and make data-driven decisions. Ideally, the organizations should pay heed to the issues faced by the employees and respond to their problems with empathy.
Based on their level of engagement, employees can be classified into three categories:
i. Engaged Employees- When the workforce is actively bonded with the firm emotionally, they personalize their work according to the goals of the organization.
ii. Not Engaged Employees- Workers who put in their time and energy into their work willingly, but are not passionate about it, are not engaged employees. They await instructions from their superiors and do not put in efforts to increase their work productivity.
iii. Disengaged Employees- When the workforce is not satisfied with their work and the firm, they end up underperforming in their jobs. Disengaged employees have a negative attitude towards their work, and end up spreading their connotations to others as well.
Some of the key elements that can help companies keep their employees engaged in remote work settings and office workspaces include:
Leaders can instil a feeling of confidence and trust in the employees during times of uncertainty by being present for them, to make them feel safe. It allows them to trust their leaders and prepares them to deal with complex situations. Being available for their employees, the leaders build qualities of resilience and social connection among the employees. Further, the employees feel less anxious about the whole ordeal when they know they have a stable work environment and job security despite the unpredictable times.
Once the offices reopen, the firms should follow strict hygiene and safety norms in the workspace. The need for a safe environment for the employees and their families has increased during the pandemic. Additionally, safety and security measures include the leaders being compassionate and vulnerable with their workforce, exhibit optimistic energy, and encourage everyone to reach their work potential. When the workers see their leaders as one of their own, they understand how their leaders are affected by the crisis the same way as them and feel more inclined towards following their ideals and work ethics.
Organizations should focus on the well-being of the employees and improve their employee experience by taking care of their individual needs. This can be done by focusing on organizational stability, compensation benefits, inclusion, equality, and relationship with each other. A positive employee experience during remote work can largely be fostered through constant feedbacks and appreciations from their leaders. Appreciation from their leaders makes employees feel seen and it motivates them to work harder to achieve the same results consistently.
A work community that promotes fairness, equality, and inclusion in work and social settings, is highly capable of improving their engagement with the employees. This can be done by maintaining and structuring teams to enhance the way the employees communicate with each other and keeping a check on the psychological aspects of the work environment on the employees. A sense of community can be a huge aid during remote work situations, and it can help make the employees have a feeling of belongingness.
When the purpose of the work is linked to their actions, the employees get a sense of importance attached to their actions and this value generates the will to be more committed to their work. In times of crisis, when a large chunk of people lost hope or purpose in their lives, bringing in stories of the business’ development, origins, and operations that are impacted by individual efforts, can make the workers achieve a sense of fulfillment. By laying out a structure to achieve the purpose, the leaders facilitate their workforce while imploring them to take small steps that can make the process easier.
The same kind of work strategies cannot be applied to every single employee. There may be instances where some strategies work for a group of people positively while it negatively impacts others. The leaders can advisably strategize to understand the problems faced by individuals with the help of surveys or analytics. They can provide them the data and resources to cope with their issues and form a forum where they can share their experiences with those facing similar problems. This ensures that a two-way channel of communication is formed between the leaders and employees virtually.
Employee engagement can work wonders for the organization’s success in times of crisis. For employees to be engaged, they have to be made aware of what is expected of them on part of the organization, and they should be provided with the right resources to fulfill those tasks and improve their skills simultaneously. When they are appreciated for their efforts, and given a safe space in the work community, they may feel connected and committed towards their work.