Updated: Feb 3
When was the last time that the HR team did an organization wide pulse survey, to derive quantitative sentiment analysis from it, and make people-centric decisions with an ‘employee first’ approach? Employee engagement is not just a task, but a strategy that directly impacts the business.
In order to retain your existing workforce, while keeping the productivity and performance levels high, as well as attracting new talent that will add value to the organization, having a resilient and agile employee engagement strategy is the mantra.
Prioritising Your Employee Engagement Strategy
Employee engagement is the culmination of HR practices that help keep the employees aligned to the company’s vision through values. Building a culture of appreciation across the floor that is driven top-down will only add to the overall acceptance levels.
Well-being has today become a need of the hour. What are your employees feeling? Are they ‘happy’ working remotely, or is it only adding to their burnout levels? Are they able to avail all the perks, take enough leaves, and schedule frequent breaks during work hours? All this while ensuring that they log in and out on time? Are they open enough to approach your in-house counsellors and speak about their problems? And most importantly, are your managers trained to handle a situation when someone walks up to them to discuss a ‘mental health problem’?
According to the LinkedIn Workforce Confidence Index the pandemic has led to about 39% of the Indian working professionals experiencing an increased level of stress and anxiety.
The concept of ‘wellness’ has existed since the early 1800’s. But it is only today, that the health and wellness industry in India has grown to become a 20,000 crore industry.
When companies talk about wellness initiatives, it has to be a very holistic approach. Implementing workshops for employees in isolation with activities like Zumba classes, mindfulness sessions, and breathing techniques, will not really work. Yoga does not solve a cry for help!
However, organizations can only be an enabler. It can provide the necessary resources, design a customized framework, and set up employee-friendly policies. But until the people themselves take the onus of reaching out for help, the efforts are bound to be futile.
The Change And Impact, Both Start Small
Begin with identifying the influencers in your team and train them to disseminate their personal experiences with key takeaways and learnings. Conduct basic team building workshops for employees that comprise sensitization towards respecting the diversity, and being inclusive.
The HR team may not be as equipped to handle escalations and problems alone. But tapping into the right resources that already exist, and moulding them will definitely be a helping hand. By doing so, you are also creating a legacy that is people-centric and ensures peer learning. This will further add to the frequency of cross-functional teams collaborating and build team accountability.
Make It Special To Make It Count
Rather than targeting numbers and chasing results, invest in the journey. Showcase success stories of the transformation and get your management team to begin with it! In these uncertain times, holding onto employee loyalty through the virtual world is getting difficult. The lines between personal and professional are blurring and employee expectations are drastically evolving.
When you lack physical presence and the personal interactions, how can employee engagement levels be defined with precision based on digital conversations? In a situation like this, building a sense of pride is imperative. Strive to attain quality participation and then, focus on amplifying the quantity.
In the quest of achieving numbers and quarterly targets, organizations tend to miss the finer things that make a difference. A random catchup call from the manager to employee, a townhall where everybody logs in only to talk about something new that they have learnt during the lockdown, a small gesture of appreciating your peer with a ‘Thank you’ email – These are the smaller and simpler things that really matter.
With numerous economic challenges surrounding us, employees are worried about staying ahead of the curve and keep proving their worth. Making it mandatory to partake in an employee engagement initiative will only be an add-on. Instead, aim to build two or three sustainable initiatives that people have a liberty to participate in. Let it not just be something that gets classified as the ‘flavour of the month’. Make employee well-being a part of your CORE strategy rather than a mere tick off your checklist.
Just as companies take a personalized approach towards its customers, similarly, there must be a personalized approach for employees as well. For only a seamless employee experience can help achieve the numbers and derive the desired ROI.