COVID-19 has changed the entire business world to move towards a new normal, aka Work from Home (WFH) where remote employees are required to engage themselves and feel committed towards their work. And this is possibly a very tough time for HR professionals around the world when it comes to thinking of creative employee engagement ideas.
In many cases, it is hard to achieve because of a lack of leadership and engagement. Management must keep employees engaged at work to reap the best outcomes.
Employee Engagement is all about making your employees committed to their work and feel passionate about what they are doing. Read this blog to learn about a few employee engagement ideas you can try today.
The three main categories of Employee Engagement are:
- Actively disengaged
- Actively engaged
- Not engaged
Employee Engagement can get difficult during times like these. Especially when new employees are being onboarded every other day.
And the fact that new hires won't be able to experience their office or workplace nor interact with their colleagues as much as they'd like to, only adds to the challenge.
It can especially be true for new hires who haven't had the opportunity to see/explore your company culture. Sometimes this can hamper the team dynamics and lead to the new hire feeling disconnected from their team and company.
In the U.S,
- 35% of U.S. employees are actively engaged
- More than 13% are actively disengaged at the job
This 13% of employees cost around 480 to 600 billion dollars per year in lost productivity. You see the big picture here? This shows the importance and urgency of Employee Engagement.
In this blog, we are going to have a look at:
- What are the most unfamiliar Employee Engagement challenges in 2021?
- What are Employee Engagement activities or ideas that might work?
- What are the top 3 Employee Engagement mistakes businesses need to stop for 2021?
Some unfamiliar Employee engagement challenges that HR has to deal with in 2021:
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the world in a state of delirium. The new normal of remote working has its own challenges.
- Remote workforce & related productivity issues
- Organizations must understand that remote working employees are facing many unfamiliar challenges at this time and it adversely affects their productivity.
- Mental health issues & Work-life balance
- Remote working employees tend to feel lonely & undervalued because of a lack of engagement. This affects their work-life balance in turn could take a toll on their mental health & overall wellness.
- Getting everyone’s buy in to carry out activities
- Since employees now work remotely, engaging everyone to perform assigned tasks effectively and get the maximum possible outcome is exceedingly challenging
- Employee retention and churn rate
- Remote employees must be kept engaged all the time to foster retention. Else they might discontinue and increase the attrition rate, one of the biggest challenges that many companies face.
You can effectively overcome these challenges by following the tips listed below.
1. Create Virtual Engagement
One way to ensure Employee Engagement along with digital onboarding is Virtual engagement. Virtual Engagement is done to improve the relationship between your company and its remote workers.
Setup frequent video conferencing so that your new hires can connect to other employees and gain a deeper understanding of their colleague’s work.
This also helps them to learn more about the company culture and more importantly connecting with the company's long-term vision.
Virtual Employee Engagement includes:
- Virtual team engagement activities
- Online games and challenges
- Weekly recurring e-meeting for some fun activities
- Share health ideas/tips
- Inspirational/motivational speeches
- Celebrate birthday parties
2. Leverage the right communication channel
As you continue to improve Employee Engagement during these strange times, your main focus should be to keep all possible channels of communications open so your employees can reach out to you with any concern they may have.
An open communication channel with the leaders/HR's can be successful in engaging remote employees.
Microsoft Yammer can be put to good use as a means to allow a constant flow of intra & inter-departmental activities/communication. This constant interaction over a private platform can help bridge the gap of isolation.
This is the time to leverage all the digital tools and social media. It has a great ability to bring your teams that are globally dispersed and remote employees closer.
3. Recognize and reward MVPs
Rewards and Recognition are like refilling the hardworking employees’ energy levels. Realizing and celebrating their hard work not only makes them feel happy but also motivates them to achieve more.
According to Hubspot, 69% of employees say they would work harder if they feel their efforts are better appreciated & recognized.
Recognizing top performers publicly encourages them for going the extra mile. You need to make sure that the assessment is fair and unbiased.
Steps that you can follow to ensure a fair and transparent selection of hard-working remote individuals:
- Have standard metrics and points for tasks completed (must consider both - quantity & quality)
- Must show a variation of points based on the complexity of tasks
- Inform your team the value metrics and make it transparent
- Select the candidates and introduce them to Jury members (different department heads or senior managers)
- Jury members must conduct the virtual interview and evaluate them
- Choose the right Most Values Player (MVP) and reward them for their performance publicly.
This encourages your employees to give their best.
4. Identify Culture champions
Cultured Champions are those who follow company culture and work hard to achieve company goals. Identify and reward Culture Champions so they can in turn serve as an inspiration for all employees. Since employees are working remotely, giving such rewards makes them happy and engaged.
Have some metrics to measure and pick the right champion. For example, few value systems (metrics) that many organizations follow are Being proactive, engaged, attentive, bold, and so on.
Employees are valued based on these metrics and the one who scores the most is chosen as the Culture Champion. Create an online poll or any other means of a voting system that shows that you are transparent and the selection process is completely unbiased.
5. Solicit employee feedback frequently
Lack of feedback is one of the major reasons for employees to get disengaged at work. The best way to find out how to improve Employee Engagement is to get feedback.
There must be open communication and management must give importance to every employee's feedback. Feedback helps you to find everything like:
- how they feel about the frequency of recognition they get
- whether they understand the company goals
- whether they are comfortable in their work environment
Set up a framework or feedback system that is simple and easy. Make your remote employees know that you value their opinion and, most significantly, act on their feedback frequently.
Typically, Employee Engagement has two aspects - The fun side of it and the work side of it. Investing heavily in either one of these aspects can spell disaster in the long run.
The idea should be to have a balance and to focus on engagement ideas that make your employees committed to their work and delighted about being part of the organization.
Employee Engagement mistakes that businesses need to stop for 2021:
1. Not engaging with candidates once the offer is rolled out
Often, HRs roll out the offer to a candidate and have no communication with them until their date of joining. If you don’t engage enough with the new hires, you end up losing them to some other company or not get them excited about their new role.
2. Not having new hires meeting members from each department.
If a new hire doesn't meet members of different departments, they will never be able to connect to the company or its vision. They will just stay in their own bubble and may not understand the contributions and the efforts of the other teams in the company. A new hire must understand the importance of each team.
3. Not having communications channels open for their employees
Employees need to know where the company is open to feedback and is keen on providing a healthier work environment. HRs need to spend time talking to employees regularly to see what's working out and what's not and make necessary changes from the feedback received.
These are strange times we live in, but the bottom line is that as long as companies invest in their employees, employees will reciprocate appropriately; be it by spreading word of mouth about how happy they are to be part of your organization or by consistently performing well and making sure their productivity translates into something effective.
One of the best investments you can make right now is to empower your employees with the right set of tools to boost their performance, productivity and help them focus on more engaging tasks by automating routine tasks.
You need a Digital Adoption Platform like Apty to make all of that and more happen. Schedule a demo right now and we will happy to share with you how we make it happen for several Fortune 500 Companies.