Employee engagement in the face of turbulence
, Alexandre Caulier
Employee engagement has become the buzz word for business success. Why is it that 71% of executives consider it critical?
The idea is that when employees are personally invested in their job, they are more productive. Reduced healthcare costs, fewer sick days and lower employee turnover make engaged employees more cost-effective. But at this time of uncertainty, there is one invaluable perk to employee engagement: resilience.
The Covid-19 crisis is changing how we work. While some industries have ground to a halt, others are adapting to the rapidly changing circumstances. Now, companies are relying more than ever on the commitment, adaptability and honesty of their staff.
Maybe yours is a healthy company with highly engaged teams. But now social distancing measures have dispersed your tight-knit workforce. Some great ways of nurturing employee engagement – such as team-building outings and Friday drinks – are no longer possible. So you urgently need to find new ways to support your staff.
Maybe this crisis is showing the cracks in your company culture. Disconnected from their workplace, overwhelmed by the new challenges, employees might be feeling unsupported. They are losing faith in their colleagues and their commitment is faltering — the last thing you need from your employees right now!
Either way now is the time to take stock.
How we react to challenges is what defines us. You can use this time to do more than survive - you can reboot and rejuvenate. With today’s technology, it is more than possible to reach out and connect your scattered workforce. Now is the time to make resilience an intrinsic part of your company’s culture.
This blog will bring you back to the 3 Basics of Employee Engagement, and show you ways to strengthen these foundations at a time of social distancing.
The 3 Pillars
There has never been a quick fix for improving employee engagement – only a holistic one. True engagement requires a sturdy framework built from 3 main pillars:
1. A Company Story
An engaged employee is emotionally committed to the company’s values and personally aligned with their goals. It is up to a company to cultivate dynamic and coherent company culture.
2. Efficient Processes
When an employee feels that their work is effective, they are more committed and do a better job. Conversely, a worker who feels they are wasting time will become frustrated. It is up to managers to instate good working processes that support workers to get their best work done, without wasting time.
For employees to stay engaged, they need to feel valued. It is essential that their skills are being put to use and that employee achievement are recognised by employers and colleagues. How essential? Well, 37% of employees say that recognition for their work is the best way a company can support them.
Go the Distance
Of course, nothing can replace a physical workplace. A pat-on-the-back or a coffee-room chat can do wonders to boost morale. But the reality is, the world is changing. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, teleworking was on the rise. Many have long been conducting their social lives through social media!
With this in mind, take another look at the three pillars above.
In today’s world and today’s circumstances, how can we keep these pillars strong? You guessed it Digital Technology!
Before the pandemic, many businesses were already using digital technologies to boost employee engagement. Now, they are relying on them. To illustrate: the communication and knowledge-sharing platform Elium are seeing a 70% increase in client use!
A digital platform is no longer a nice-to-have. It’s a must-have!
Digital technologies can draw together a scattered workforce, create a central hub for your organisation and make every employee visible. In a word - they are the key to employee engagement.
Here’s how Digital Solutions can address the 3 Pillars
1. A Company Story
A company intranet is an internal online platform tailored exclusively to an organisations needs. As such, the very look, feel and operations of the intranet reflect the ethos of your organisation.
A centralized internet space allows every member to ‘log in’ to work. Some services allow this page to be tailored for each employee so that they are not bombarded with irrelevant information.
The intranet can be used as a social space too, allowing employees to communicate informally. These spaces stand-in for the water cooler or after-work drinks! Any good manager will tell you that co-worker friendships help to build employee engagement!
The system draws the whole company together so that even from afar, employees can feel part of it.
2. Efficient Processes
An intranet system can host a number of software features. The most important ones for supporting employee engagement are a communication platform and a knowledge-sharing platform. The best software offers a combination of both.
Okay, so what are they?
- An employee communication platform offers a central place to organize, discuss and share important information.
A good software system allows a business to set up gradated communication streams between teams, departments, and the business as a whole. It connects colleagues and makes sure that all employees can stay in touch with what’s happening at work.
- A knowledge-sharing platform is often part of a communication platform. It is a digital and interactive way for an organisation to create, retain and share information and intellectual resources. Basically, it is a way of ensuring that the right information is only a click away.
Knowledge management is proven to significantly increase employee engagement, and a knowledge-sharing platform is a painless and more dynamic way of doing it. Without a doubt, a system like this can save hours every day.
And with employees now juggling kids with telework, the time has ever been more precious!
A dynamic intranet encourages conversations, interactions, and employee involvement; it makes every employee visible while providing a central hub.
Different software offers different ways of doing this - from colleague profiles to recognition schemes!
For example, Elium users can acknowledge both the ‘givers’ and the ‘takers’ in a team. By pressing a ‘like’ button on useful posts, colleagues show their appreciation for one another. Not only can managers track the knowledge sharing activities of their staff, but some are also using the platform to celebrate the most active employees of every month!
Only a Click Away
In general, these technologies are very user friendly. All you need is laptop-savvy employees and an internet connection.
Software services like Elium or Social Seeders, provide not only the software but services needed to guide a user through the implementation. Some will even set it up for you! If you’re new to these tools, why not try a free trial and see what’s right for you?