The implications of the COVID-19 crisis on the workplace have added new challenges to maintaining employees engaged and productive and making sure the working environment remains a positive one.
But why does employee engagement still matter? And how can HR departments make sure employees stay motivated and connected while working from home?
Personally and professionally, the pandemic has put a toll on employees’ mental health and productivity.
People have been dealing with anxiety, the difficulty in maintaining a work-life balance, the smart working model, and the economic uncertainty.
All these adjustments have hindered the employee experience as we knew it, leading to less socialisation and motivation amongst employees.
So, is there still room for employee engagement in this world? Not only there is room, there’s also a need for it.
A 2017 report by Salesforce revealed that employees who feel their voices are heard are 4.6 times more likely to perform their best work.
A 2018 Gallup poll showed that engaged employees are 21% more productive than those less engaged.
And according to the Workplace Research Foundation, employees who feel valued by their employer deliver better customer experiences, thus driving consumer satisfaction.
While the landscape has changed from 2018, this research still holds true.
Employee engagement in HR ensures that a company’s workforce is committed to its mission and gives it an edge against the competition.
But what’s employee engagement in HR, exactly? And how can it be achieved?
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The term employee engagement includes all workplace initiatives designed to improve how employees feel about the company they work for, their job, their colleagues, and company culture.
As a mediator between employees, managers and executives, HR is uniquely positioned to leverage employee engagement tactics that boost wellbeing and productivity.
To promote a culture of engagement, HR should lead the effort of designing and implementing company-wide practices that attract and retain talent.
Besides, HR can also foster engagement by creating a culture of recognition and reward for employees’ contribution to the company.
So, in practice, how can HR Managers drive resiliency in uncertain times and help their workforce thrive in an altered work environment?
In today’s world of remote work and online-first interactions, employee engagement activities must be adjusted to answer to the current situation.
More so than ever, you need to invest in the mental and emotional health of your people, in addition to their professional achievements. You need to work closely with your teams to keep the energy high during these times, so they feel good emotionally and can also maintain the right level of productivity.
With in-person team building activities and internal events on hold for the time being, HR needs to find new ways to keep employees engaged through digital experiences.
Here are a few ideas to inspire you when creating employee engagement activities.
Whether you’re an experienced remote team or you’re new to working virtually with your colleagues, team building activities are more important than ever to maintain engagement, work efficiently and fight loneliness while social distancing.
Of course, keep in mind that not every team or team member has the same level of savvy when it comes to remote interactions.
Similarly, not all teams have the same objectives when engaging in this kind of activities – some might want to focus on bonding and socialisation, while others need to work on their development and working processes.
For these reasons, think about what your employees would benefit from and what areas need attention before selecting a team building activity. Then, design and plan accordingly.
Were you planning to organise an in-person incentive to reward and engage your employees? Cancelling might not be the best solution at a time when people crave for connection to others.
Virtual events are an effective, entertaining and educational way to engage your employees in the working from home world. If done right.
When a virtual event is planned instead of an in-person incentive, the experience must create a wow effect to activate the remote audience.
Consider investing in AV features and immerse your employees in a virtual environment.
If your event has a strong educational component, don’t forget to design for attention. Educational content is best absorbed when it’s broken down into more digestible bits, alternated with more entertaining, interactive moments.
There is no doubt that the coronavirus has changed ways of working and connecting for many companies.
HR must put extra care in looking after the motivation of their employees and engage them with experiences and activities that will give them positive value.
Is your company trying to find new ways to connect and engage with your employees in this “stay at home” world? Get in touch to discuss virtual employee engagement strategies.