Employee Engagement Strategies: Experts foresee the “Great Resignation,” or a wave of voluntary employee departures, as the world stutters towards a Covid-19 recovery. For instance, according to one study, 55% of workers in August 2021 want to hunt for a new job over the next 12 months.
Organisations must put more of an emphasis than ever on building employee engagement to fend off the oncoming flood of employee churn.
The proof is unmistakable. Employees who are engaged perform better, burn out less frequently, and remain with companies longer.
Given the fundamental significance of engagement, we developed the Employee Engagement Checklist, a condensed, research-based tool that practitioners can use in this crucial time of fresh uncertainty.
In order to create the checklist, we looked at the academic literature, created a list of the top 20 engagement drivers, gathered original data on what motivates workers in the post-Covid era, compared it to what managers believed would increase workers’ engagement, and then came up with a series of recommendations based on the best available research.
Table of Contents
Translating Science into Practice
In the academic literature, employee engagement includes four elements and can be thought of as the degree to which an employee:
- Feels committed to an organization
- Identifies with an organization
- Feels satisfied with their job
- Feels energized at work
These are frequently assessed by having employees answer a self-report questionnaire, such as “How committed are you to your organisation?” For interested readers, we have made our employee engagement index available for download and usage in a public repository.
The Employee Engagement Checklist
The mission statement for your company should be updated to reflect employee values. A company that promotes social change is more likely to attract workers who feel at home there.
According to studies, people are willing to forgo financial benefits to work for a company that values corporate social responsibility and the environment.
It will be challenging for employees’ goals and values, which are likely about the individual’s aspirations, not the organization’s, to fit in if your company’s mission is to become the industry leader and nothing more.
On the other hand, it is simpler for employees to link their aims and beliefs with the organization’s vision and thereby feel like they belong if your organization’s mission is to have some societal influence (such as Airbnb’s “create a world where you can belong anywhere”).
Show how a worker’s work relates to the mission of the company. Creating a sense of shared values takes more than a clear mission. The employees’ daily job must be connect to the company’s overall goals.
Make the work itself less stressful and more enjoyable.
Allow employees the freedom to experiment with different jobs so they can identify their innate interests. It likely relies on the individual employee whether tasks are intrinsically attractive; in other words, the identical activity might inspire intrinsic drive in one person but not in another.
Consider a programme where employees rotate between many positions inside a corporation in a very short amount of time to give them the chance to discover what piques their innate interest.
For instance, Heineken, a Dutch brewer of beer, has a job rotation programme whereby recent college graduates rotate among a variety of areas, such as packaging, product development, brewing, quality assurance, and packaging development.
Employees can choose and join the department after the programme is through that they feel has the best chance of piqueing their innate interest.
Create time affluence.
Give workers time rewards in addition to money. For the past 30 years, college-educated professionals have seen an increase in their working hours, signalling a long-term drop in their sense of time abundance.
A direct path to boosting emotions of time affluence is to reward employees with time (e.g., more time off, paid vacations) in addition to money (e.g., cash bonuses, stock).
Given that the pandemic lengthened the typical workday by 48.5 minutes per day on average, cutting time for leisure activities outside of the workplace, the need to reward employees with time is more critical than ever.
In addition, a different study found that the pandemic’s detrimental impact on time affluence had differed between men and women, with women (particularly mothers) reporting less time affluence than males.
Giving workers more required vacation time is one method to reward them with time. For instance, several companies, like Bumble, gave employees an extra week off this summer in reaction to exhaustion brought on by the pandemic.
Giving employees time rewards is a particularly efficient approach to boost sentiments of time abundance and boost employee engagement.
What Employee Engagement Is—and Is Not
Diverse definitions of employee engagement have been creating by researchers and consulting firms. They have also developed categories to identify and distinguish different levels of worker participation.
Although they have some overlap, work happiness and employee engagement are not the same things. The degree to which an individual is personally content with their work is more important than their level of involvement in furthering organisational objectives.