Creating engaged employees in year 2020

Employee engagement is surely an abstract concept. Though it has reflections in the physical – profit, customer satisfaction, increase in job safety rates – we are actually discussing a very emotional concept. On top of this emotionality if you also consider the different ways people connect with different occupations, the situation gets even tougher. Engagement not only changes from person to person, but at times also changes with environmental factors. In short, there is no universal formula for it.

Keep with the times

We live in a world that changes in record speed. A process that is perfect for today can be unfit for tomorrow. Employee trends transform along with generational shifts. At this point, the most crucial factor that will bring success – as in create employee engagement – is farsighted leaders and visionary executive teams. I have attempted to explain some key aspects executive teams and leaders must have in their arsenal, we can constantly expand this list with your suggestions and contributions. Because change is a ceaseless force.

Employee engagement now is a clear-cut business goal

If you want to attract talented employees and keep hold of the employees you have attracted, there is no option but to develop ‘employee engagement’. This key phrase – perceived ten years ago as more of a high-brow concept – is now the foremost business goal. It affects profit, sales, rates of customer satisfaction. The phrase “sounds good, let’s do something too” is out, “we need to raise employee engagement” is in.

Your flexible working conditions affects engagement

During the pandemic, 75 percent of employees have stated that their productivity has increased. If we consider the periods that working from home was not mandatory as well, this is a large percentage. Among the reasons for the increase in productivity are the decrease in distraction and concentration difficulties, the elimination of traffic stress, and the decrease in office politics. Thus, when the pandemic is water under the bridge – when the kids start school – it might be beneficial to reconsider your policies on flexible working conditions. Deloitte just released a very contemporary study showing that 62 percent of new-generation employees are more inclined to remote working. (You can examine the study here.)

Technology promotes engagement

According to a study done by PwC in 2018, 75 percent of companies now support their HR process with the Cloud technology. A new version of this study has not caught my eye, but I am sure this percentage has raised during the pandemic. Practices directed to and advantageous for employees, tools for performance management, various discounts, workshops, communication devices turn every working environment into an office through these technologies. Investing in the right tools has become crucial for the world in the year 2020. It is not enough alone, but with the right culture it can create immaculate results.

It is time to redefine “human”

Technology is important for developing an engaged workforce but there is an investment much more essential: compassion. 92 percent of workers (Businessolver) state that being shown empathy is the most important binding factor for them. Technology is advancing, yet believe me this does not extinguish the fact that humans inherently seek compassion and appreciation. They want to be valued. A business objective is made possible with the existence of compassionate leaders and a solid corporate culture.

The engaged employee is the voluntary ambassador for the brand

You need your employees to achieve corporate branding. A message shared on social media by an employee is 561 percent more interacted with than one shared by a corporate social media account. On average, an employee has 10 times more followers than their employer. Studies show that 41 percent of job seekers value heavily an employee’s perspective. This is incredibly significant. Use part of the budget used to raise your social media follower count on workforce engagement and observe the results. Could there be some who read these sentences and make social media posts obligatory at their companies? Yes, we have seen it happen, but believe me these obligations only create negative effects on new generation employee engagement.

Isik Serifsoy

CEO Engage & Grow

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