“Employee engagement is the extent to which employees feel passionate about their jobs, are committed to the organization, and put discretionary effort into their work”.
People around the world are passing through hard times, some more than others. The Covid-19 pandemic has become an additional stressor, affecting peoples’ lives on a daily basis. One of the effects of the pandemic is that employees started feeling less connected to their jobs. Connection at the workplace is the feeling of being part of the company’s community and having a sense of belonging. When employees are more connected at work, the more efficient the workplace will be. However, let’s not forget that people connect to their workplace in different ways. Some employees connect to a certain concept, some connect to the organization’s culture, and some will connect to their workplace because of the relationships they have with their colleagues. Still, there are some employees who feel isolated and have no connection to their workplace.
Some strategies used to increase employee engagement:
Employee recognition and inclusion:
Employees feel motivated and supported when recognized for their efforts, especially when recognized by their supervisors. Also, employee inclusion allows employees to share their own ideas and solutions about the business and taking employee perception into account could help find possible problems related to the business early on and allow improvement.
Employee work-life balance:
HR professionals have been trying to help employees with balancing their work and life, and this year the pandemic allowed many employees to work from home. Studies have suggested employees who work from their home, are more productive because they avoid office rules and the stress that comes from travelling to and from work. The flexibility of working from home has somewhat helped employees find a balance for their work and life.
Employee wellness and mental health:
Before the pandemic employees didn’t have much time to exercise or prepare healthy meals, but since the Covid-19 pandemic employees have had more time to focus on their health. Many companies organized online exercise sessions to help employees stay healthy while staying at home. They talked to their employees about the importance of mental health, because employee health is directly linked to their productivity level. In general, employees who are physically and mentally healthy are happier and more productive, while employees with poor health are unhappy and less productive.
An employee comes first:
Employers who put their employee’s first and focus on their development and growth, will have high employee engagement. Employees are no longer motivated by financial incentives as before. Nowadays, employees are satisfied when their managers put their needs first.
5 Employee Engagement Trends in 2020:
1. Allowing workplace flexibility:
During the Covid-19 pandemic, companies enforced flexible work schedules on employees to keep them safe. Most companies had a positive experience with a flexible workplace. Most employees are happier, more satisfied, engaged and productive. They have higher morale and a better work/life balance. As a result, many companies will be implementing a flexible work schedule policy even after the pandemic.
2. Having compassion and empathy:
Employers are being more compassionate and understanding, they are building more meaningful relationships with their employees. These relationships will, therefore, build better workplaces and increase employee engagement.
3. Changing the feedback rule:
Feedback is an HR tool used to make sure employees are performing their best at work. Typically, feedback is given by the HR team or management team to employees, but since the pandemic, this rule has been broken by managerial teams. HR teams and managers encouraged employees to ask for feedback at any time so that employees know how they are performing in their jobs. Changing this norm helped to increase employee engagement.
4. Employee development:
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, many layoffs happened and it has been hard for employers to find talented people. Also, the current economic situation has not been helpful to managers for them to hire new people. So, managers decided to develop the talents of their existing employees by assigning them on different projects where they can learn new skills and share their knowledge with others.
5. Providing the best work experience:
Employee experience has changed dramatically this year. Employees are not going to live the typical lifestyle, balancing their work-life, instead, they are trying to balance their life at home and dealing with social distance problems. It has been difficult for HR professionals to help employees with the new lifestyle; however, they are trying their best to support employees in order to give them the best work experience during these hard times.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that employee engagement is important for a company’s productivity. Companies who focus on keeping their employees happy and supported, they will have more engaged employees. keeping some of the 5 Employee Engagement Trends in your company will help it overcome the difficult times it is passing through. HR professionals are always trying to find the best strategies to keep employees engaged at work and with a little help from managers they can achieve better and faster results. Most of the hard work is on HR professionals, but the hard work will pay off when they see increases in companies’ productivity levels.