What happens when an employee feels disconnected from the organization? Though they might put up a work face and do their tasks, their productivity and work performance starts deteriorating.
What happens when there are tons of such employees in your organization? It means you need more effective employee engagement strategies.
Though devising strategies for employee engagement might seem an easy task, it’s not. Gone are the days when employees were happy after getting a lavish dinner set for 25 years of commitment to the company.
Instead, this generation needs well-deserved recognition, fringe benefits, and perks that will help them stay motivated and committed to the company. For doing so, you need to re-evaluate your old methods and adopt some new techniques.
What is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is a measure of how invested and enthusiastic employees are about their work.
When employee engagement is high, employees are very invested in achieving positive outcomes at work. When employee engagement is low, employees aren’t invested in the work and don’t put in their full effort.
Thus, to some degree employee engagement is also about the emotional connection an employee has with their organization. It helps in understanding what motivates an employee to perform their best and provide good results to the organization.
What is required for good employee engagement?
A company that provides a fair, safe space for its employees with plentiful growth opportunities has higher employee engagement than those who lack the above-mentioned terms.
Organizations that are well-invested in their employees help their growth throughout their careers. This leads to a more loyal and trusting workforce.
However, it’s important to change employee engagement strategies with changing generations, as each era requires different things to stay committed to an organization.
12 Best Employee Engagement Strategies and Tactics for 2022
Below are 12 effective employee engagement strategies you should be using in 2022:
1. Build Trust with Employees
Before devising any strategy for improving employee engagement, you need to build trust within your workers. How can you build trust? By remaining transparent and upholding your company’s core values.
Each employee requires different things, and as a mentor, you need to cater to those needs, keeping in mind that they justify your company’s core values.
Let’s say there’s a project and a team member wants to showcase their skills but is quite underconfident. In such cases, it’s your job to trust and provide them with the space to showcase their skills.
By doing so, the team member gets the chance to shine and starts trusting you. Besides, it also provides an opportunity to learn from their mistakes and improve. By gaining your employees’ trust, you also get to interact with them freely. It will also help you understand their requirements and devise a strategy accordingly.
2. Offer Flexible Working Hours
Work-life balance is what every employee seeks, and flexible working hours are the solution for that. But unfortunately, the 9 to 5 concept has become monotonous and offers little free time for the employees. Due to this, it has become difficult for employees to maintain their personal life.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations saw the possibility of work-from-home, which further gave rise to flexible schedules. The freedom to work from anywhere at any time allows employees to pay attention to both their personal and professional life.
This flexibility allows them to maintain the scale and increases their performance. Even if your employees don’t have the option of working from home, you can still build in flexibility using shift swaps and time off requests.
3. Implement Employee Recognition Programs
Every person seeks recognition for their work, as it motivates them to hustle harder. The same goes for employees as well. Though the pandemic has shifted work from office to home, you can still give your employees the appreciation and recognition they deserve.
Celebrate their achievements during working hours or video meetings, and gift them vouchers or coupon cards from their favorite gym (or anything they like). It’s not only thoughtful but also encourages the employee to work harder.
Most organizations have a point reward system, where, after achieving a particular number of points, the employee is rewarded with accessories and as such. Praising employees for their achievements boosts their morale and helps them to remain motivated.
4. Provide Learning and Growth Opportunities
An organization that doesn’t invest in its employees’ career growth is the one with less employee engagement. Therefore, providing a space for your employees that helps them grow and acquire new skill sets.
Most organizations provide vouchers for several learning courses to help the employee learn new things and add more skills to their resume. You can always conduct training sessions and workshops for your employees.
By providing growth opportunities to employees, you are also helping the organization grow. Moreover, learning new technologies helps the employees to remain up-to-date, which further helps the company run smoothly.
5. Create a Transparent Work Environment
Having a transparent work environment allows both employees and employers to have mutual trust and respect for each other. By creating a transparent working culture, you help the employees understand the organization’s motives, goals, and core values. This further helps them to improve their working style to provide good results.
It’s important to have a working culture with no secrets as it gives birth to complete trust and loyalty. Besides, a transparent work environment also helps remove communication and cultural barriers among people.
6. Make Use of Team Collaboration Tools
Whether you are working from the office or home, it’s essential to remain connected with your team members.
A labor management tool like Timeforge helps the team members remain connected. Team communication features allow you to keep your management team in the loop, send messages across the organization, receive automatic alerts, and track read receipts. This tool also helps in employee scheduling, tracking attendance, and managing tasks.
Most organizations also use project management tools like Asana, Teamly, or SmartTask. These tools help managers collaborate with teams on ongoing projects, connect instantly with team members, chat, do video conferencing, and share files.
They also allow managers to balance multiple projects and manage the team’s workload. These collaboration tools help both in-office and remote teams remain connected even during busy schedules.
7. Promote Employee Engagement Activities
Everybody loves to take time off from work, and team-building activities are the best way to give your employees their well-earned breaks.
Whether your team is working from the office or home, there are various ways in which you can conduct such fun activities. For example, if you have a remote team, then you can conduct virtual parties by providing food coupons, a day off, virtual concerts, listening parties, and much more. It helps the employees to feel connected with the team even from afar.
For in-office teams, you can conduct pizza parties, karaoke, picnics, treks, hiking, and much more. These activities help employees leave their professional getup and mix with colleagues in a better space.
8. Provide Incentives and Perks
Let’s be honest, who doesn’t love an additional bonus? Every employee loves getting incentives, bonuses, and other extra benefits from the company. It makes them happy and provides them with a sense of appreciation for the company.
However, monetary benefits are not the only things that employees of this generation look for. They want to see what an organization provides apart from their monthly salary for being a loyal employee to them. Most organizations provide internet reimbursements, premium Spotify access, subscription to various streaming services, paid leaves, etc.
Before you plan your employee engagement strategy for the upcoming generation, you need to think about the benefits that the organization can provide for newbies. You can’t simply get away by giving a watch on completing ten years with the organization.
Most companies provide tons of goodies, welcome kits during the joining process, snacks and gifts at festivals, and even birthday gifts. These incentives help you to connect with your employees on a personal level.
9. Take Care of Employee Well-Being
The pandemic has changed a lot of things. People lost their loved ones, the world slowed down, and our everyday lives drastically changed. All these things took a toll on people’s mental health, resulting in panic attacks, depression, anxiety, and more.
In such dark times, industries need to understand the value of mental health and look after the well-being of their employees. The least that a company can do is ask about their mental health from time to time, give them a break when the employees feel drained out, and urge them to take leaves for the sake of their mental well-being.
These small gestures can help your employees take care of their mental health and provide good performance. Besides, you mark yourself as an understanding and caring mentor by being gentle in such circumstances.
Most organizations also hire professional help for their employees so that they can feel at ease. Creating a psychologically safe space for your employees will help them in feeling better during tough days.
10. Encourage Employee Feedback
Employee feedback provides the employees with a platform to state their requirements from the company, things that they don’t like, and the changes that the company can make to improve performance.
You can conduct survey forms, MCQs, and various other methods to gather such information from your employees. Such surveys help the employees to anonymously state their problems and needs, irrespective of their position in the company.
11. Employee-Centric Workplace
One of the major reasons why employees do not like working from the office is due to its internal structure. So instead of keeping the office plain white and blue, it’s better to add colors, graphic designs, and quirky hangings that give off a good vibe.
Most organizations also provide separate spaces for playing indoor games, terrace gardens for breaks, allowing pets, and open working areas instead of cabinets. By redesigning the office workplace, employees will feel more relaxed rather than tense throughout the day.
It’s better to think about the employees while redesigning the office area so that it caters to their needs. For example, most working mothers do not find it feasible to leave their babies at home. In such cases, most companies offer small nurseries so that working mothers can put their minds at ease while working and keep an eye on their kids.
12. Diversity and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are the need of the hour. Hiring freshers from all over the world provides the company with the chance for international exposure.
In addition, by including employees of various races, genders, cultures, and nationalities, you encourage transparent communication and remove several barriers. Corporate language training is essential in creating an inclusive and diverse workspace. It helps employees communicate effectively with colleagues from different backgrounds and appreciate different cultures.
Moreover, by ruling out the hiring limits, you are allowing talent from all over the globe to get a platform for showcasing their talents. It also helps other employees understand different cultural norms and learn to respect them. This, in turn, helps improve employee engagement in the workplace, thus creating a safe space for everyone.
Final words about effective employee engagement strategies
Devising proper employee engagement strategies with every changing year is the only way to keep up with the changing generations and trends. It helps companies understand their employees on both personal and professional levels.
As well, these strategies also provide you with chances to revamp a company’s work culture and adapt to newer trends and technologies. As time changes, people also change, and so do their needs. With proper employee engagement plans, you can improve employee retention at your business.
Shyamal Parikh is the Founder of SmartTask, an online work management/automation software that helps teams streamline their processes may it be sales, customer success, or projects. He actively shares strategies and techniques that improve a team’s productivity.