Top 4 employee engagement priorities

Unbelievably we’re now over half-way through 2022 and this milestone could serve as a great opportunity to refocus your employee engagement priorities and strategies.

Globally, ways of working have been turned on their head. The non-stop changes to the world of work has left many employers and employees reeling. Despite hybrid working entering the global vernacular in 2020, many businesses are still grappling with the challenges it brings. Meanwhile, the talent crisis has been causing massive reputational damage, limiting the ability of businesses to thrive.

With people seeking connection now more than ever, employee engagement is being seen as the new measure of a brand’s success. Employers who invest in connecting teams emotionally will help build resilience amongst their team and manage job level stress, resulting in better health and wellbeing and a happier and more effective workforce. If it’s time to re-focus on how you can create an environment where employees feel connected, appreciated, and ultimately supported, whilst also ensuring there is real clarity surrounding the businesses’ purpose, then read on.

  1. Measure your employee engagement

Before jumping in, if you haven’t already, the first thing to do in terms of priorities is to listen. Stop asking employees to tell you what you want to hear, be honest with yourself and with them – find out what they really think. Whether you run culture surveys, performance reviews, or anything else like this, don’t wait for these opportunities to start listening to the needs of your team.

Start with encouraging open dialogue between managers and teams to help provide insight into what could be standing in the way of teams doing their best work. Listen and take note of what themes come through and ensure these are considered carefully. It’s also worth noting that surveys, reviews, workshops, etc. are structured in a way to reiterate what the employer wants to hear – by opening up dialogue or different feedback avenues which are less orchestrated, you’ll open yourself up to better insights that can really help shape how you better your culture and/or working practises.

  1. Invest in your leadership

The best tool for building an impactful employee experience is your leadership team. An employee’s view of their role and even more widely about the company they work for is often shaped by the leadership they experience. Investing in your management is essential to drive a strong and positive workforce and ensuring those in leadership roles know they need to own the employee experience themselves is essential. As humans we can be given every tool under the sun, but if we don’t feel inspired then we’re very unlikely to push ourselves forward and engage. A people-first strategy which is supported by strong company-wide communication, from onboarding right through to ongoing engagement strategies is essential, regardless of whether workplaces return to previous ways of working or they continue to embrace hybrid or remote ways of working.

  1. Put effort into developing your culture

With the opportunity for canteen lunch chats and water-cooler moments drastically reduced for many, we need to consider new ways of developing culture. Whilst many managers are doing a sterling job at keeping up the softer side of people management with their employees and checking in on them as individuals before jumping into the day-to-day tasks, we cannot rely on this. There is a real need to put effort in to providing the opportunity for your team to connect and for leaders to motivate and inspire. From orchestrating ‘time to chat’ coffee calls, ‘lunch and learn’ sessions and carving out regular development and growth conversations, we need to find new ways of developing and keeping culture alive when many if not all our communications are virtual.

  1. Consider your onboarding carefully

We’ve referenced employee onboarding already but whilst it is essential to keep your current workforce engaged, it’s another challenge to successfully onboard and instil a sense of belonging to a culture they have never had the chance to ‘feel’ in person.

In the pre-COVID world new employees were exposed to the business culture in a more traditional manner, by simply walking into a new office and engaging with a new team. With remote and hybrid working, culture by osmosis is less likely to occur so it’s something that needs more careful consideration. One example of a way to help new employees begin to feel a sense of belonging is to create a forum specifically focused on them and their needs. For example, running a weekly 10-minute call for all new employees to give them the opportunity to ask questions in a safe environment, as well as giving them dedicated time to ensure they’re onboarded successfully.

By creating two-way conversations from the very start of their employment journey you’re also showing them that they matter and that you want to invest time into them for their benefit right from the get-go. Consider increasing the feedback opportunities too so you can really listen to the experiences of your new employees and take these insights to continue to evolve your onboarding process to best support new starters.

Prioritising employee engagement

In summary, whilst we’ve looked at some of the key employee engagement priorities, the biggest thing to call out is that doing nothing is simply not an option. The negative effects of disengagement will soon show up in your company culture, your reputation externally and ultimately your bottom line.

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And if you’re looking for your support with your employee engagement strategy, then get in touch to see how we can help.

Watch our livestream: Get ready for employee engagement in 2022