How to act on the organization to improve employee engagement, creating a serene and productive business environment where expressing talent.
In this study that appeared on Worklife, Jon M. Jachimowicz, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behaviour at Harvard Business School, questions why so many workers have lost interest in their workplace and identifies a major cause in the Pandemic, which generated in workers a greater attitude to introspection, as they have increasingly begun to ask themselves questions about their professional situation and the personal satisfaction that actually derives from it.
Similarly, finding themselves working from remote, many people have realized that they do not really love their work and they experiences strong difficulties in doing it remotely, without being able to count on effective support from their employers. We can find in these elements one of the origins of the phenomenon that everybody knows as the "Great resignation", now globally widespread.
At this point it is necessary to wonder which concrete actions can be taken by companies to promote the retention of their employees and create the best working conditions in which they can express themselves: Employee Engagement comes into play.
Employee Engagement: what exactly is it?
When talking about employee engagement, we refer to a series of factors that link the motivation level with productivity and which can be summarized as “employee involvement”. It is technically a metric used in the HR to understand how employees feel “closed” to the work they do, involved in business dynamics and positively influenced by the sense of belonging to the company they developed so far. The result of the combination of these factors leads to understand how committed people are in achieving company objectives and they are likely to remain within the organization for a long time, satisfied and motivated by the value proposition offered to them by the company (better known as Employee Value Proposition).
Employee engagement is a concept that goes far beyond remuneration and hierarchical position, but which includes special dynamics among colleagues and within teams and relations, effective participation in company life and involvement in decisions and objectives, as well as in principles that are part of the business culture of a professional daily life.
Business organization: best practices to improve employee engagement
It has been demonstrated that employees’ enthusiasm and involvement are highest in the first years of hiring, and then they decline as the years go by. Here are some good practices to follow in order to maintain a high level of employee engagement, to be aligned with each organization with a view to employee experience based on the dynamics and logic most similar to the processes and work environment already in place:
- Listening: employees need to be listened to, to understand which are their expectations, their needs to support, which conflicts to resolve, which proposals to implement, which relationships to cement. Listening is the basis of every employee engagement strategy: so green light for surveys, one-to-one meetings, exit interviews. However, listening is not enough: concrete and measurable actions must be followed, in order to correct any errors and always have the pulse of the situation;
- Celebration: the most involved employees are those who feel appreciated, who see the value of their commitment recognized. It is not only with remuneration or incentive bonuses that people are held back: recognition has a fundamental value. It is necessary to think about some moments of celebration that can become opportunities for socializing, and thus "break" the daily routine, promoting the founding values on which the corporate culture is based;
- Leadership: the relations with one's direct superior or with one's work team is often a source of stress for people, if not properly managed. It is important to take care of the personal leadership of managers and support them in managing people, with constant training and virtuous examples;
- Feedback: the feedback culture is essential in each organization that wants to grow. People need open and sincere discussions that stimulate continuous improvement but to get this they need to learn how to give and receive feedback in a clear, effective and respectful way;
- Sharing: employees are often focused on their daily activities without realizing the direct or indirect impact of their work on company results. A transparent sharing of strategic objectives and results by the top management, to be managed with dedicated meetings or periodic publications, fosters a sense of belonging to the organization and to feel part of a larger project;
- Training: a workplace where you can improve your skills and professional experience is the ideal workplace. Training has to be encouraged and promoted, rethinking it in a digital key to make it flexible, accessible and effective;
- Relationships: workplaces are social places, even before being centre of productivity. It is essential to foster relationships by creating opportunities for informal meeting and discussion, promoting the inclusion and acceptance. Dedicated team building can then be organized, to help working groups to successfully collaborate to reach common goals, smoothing out differences and communicating in a more effective way;
- Welfare and wellbeing: a pleasant and comfortable work environment can surely promote employee motivation. Today, however, people are looking for something more: the work-life balance is at the centre of workers’ thoughts, increasingly looking for flexibility and sustainable initiatives / services designed for their needs. Innovative welfare and wellbeing programs can enrich the professional proposal, offering employees goods and services that can support them in achieving their physical, psycho-physical, economic and financial well-being.
All these elements, combined in a strategy to be aligned with company's dynamics, contribute to fostering greater involvement of people, promoting retention and decreasing the turnover rate.
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