Recent Gallup studies demonstrated that companies with highly engaged workforces enjoy 21% higher profitability – yet, unfortunately, employee engagement continues to fall, from 36% in 2020 to 34% in 2021 and, most recently, 32% in 2022.
With phenomena such as quiet quitting and the Great Resignation still affecting businesses everywhere, it doesn’t look like the numbers will likely improve soon. So, what’s a company to do?
Here are four factors to bear in mind for optimizing employee engagement in your organization:
- Give them a sense of purpose
It’s primarily thanks to the pandemic that workers—especially younger ones and parents—have started questioning why and whether they need to work. Today’s employees want to do more than pull in a paycheck, so they understand their roles’ importance. Help them see how they contribute to a bigger picture – after all, even receptionists at a chip manufacturing plant play a part in getting spacecraft off the ground, don’t they? Vibrant corporate social responsibility programs can go a long way toward building a sense of pride, accomplishment, and investment.
- Keep communicating
With many workers still dispersed across many locations, maintaining communication is more vital than ever and often more complex. Connecting remotely makes it even more of a balancing act to tread that fine line between ‘not enough’ and ‘too much’ involvement in your personnel’s day-to-day. Businesses need to be able to rely on—and listen to—their managers and team leaders, to work out the best ways to keep lines of support and feedback open and running. Companies must also ensure that their people can always speak up and be heard without fear of negative judgment or repercussions.
- Share the post-pandemic decision-making
While it may only sometimes be wise to let your staff run your business, they must have a say, especially with decisions that directly concern them, such as the choice of whether, when, and how to return to the office. Invite them to express their preferences or even open up a brainstorming session or poll – they might have ideas that may surprise you. Help them understand the issues affecting the decision, from budget concerns to process bottlenecks to regulatory requirements. You can apply this to various topics, such as whether your old performance metrics are still relevant.
- Be mindful of mental health
COVID-19 put us all through the wringer, and most of us have yet to come out of it. Today’s workers want a safe space and supportive avenues for managing their mental well-being, whether struggling with significant issues or mild burnout. Letting them know your door and your mind are open is an essential first step; however, mental health is still a sensitive topic for some, so you have to provide honest and discreet options for them, depending on their comfort level. Company leaders, from executives to supervisors, must embrace the reality that mental health is health.
These touchpoints are meant to update your approach to employee engagement because today’s personnel are not the same as they were two years ago. These concepts can help you sustain an employee engagement strategy that keeps your people healthy, productive, and happy.