How to Successfully Engage Your Employees in the Post-COVID Market
With the uncertainty for many employers in the future and what it has in store moving forward, nobody knows. We are seeing a shrinking market in many areas; areas in which we thought it would never happen. Unusual times bring different approaches; employers preparing for rocky times ahead which means pay freezes amongst other things. But what is clear is that, without a doubt, your employees are singularly the most important part of your business moving forward and how do you keep them motivated without a pay rise?
You can’t follow the same recipe as before if you want to successfully engage your employees. Businesses may not develop and employees’ interests and expectations will have to change. You therefore need to adapt your employee engagement strategy to keep up. Not only does it ensure you’re meeting the needs of your employees, but it means you remain competitive as an employer. By introducing a benefits package for your employees this will capture them, get them engaged and they will see value in regularly using the benefits; for example, your benefits platform needs to be easy to access, navigate and give them an experience to other online platforms they’ll be using. The technology used, therefore, needs to be innovative in order to deliver features that’ll enhance the user experience such as sophisticated searching, personalisation and consumer-grade navigation, for example. Compatibility on all devices is also key so employees can access everything at home, at work or on the go. This will ensure that they get the most out of what you’re offering.
And of course, it’s not just about offering discounts that might be a short fix to a far larger potential problem. It’s about offering a whole package which includes a longer-term solution in the form of a wellbeing portal. 2020 revealed how multi-faceted employee wellbeing is. While the emotional and physical sides of health are often considered first by businesses embarking on a wellbeing strategy, other areas have come to the fore which are also important and require attention.
Financial and social wellbeing, for example, are now very prominent areas of discussion because of the impact money and relationships can have on the overall wellbeing of employees. In one of our 2019 employee engagement round table discussions we focused specifically on financial wellbeing in the workplace, discussing how money-related stress can have a real impact on overall employee engagement.
On top of this, other areas such as cultural wellbeing and career wellbeing have emerged. In order to deliver the best possible employee wellbeing support, businesses need to take a holistic approach and open up to the idea of there being many different areas to address. While mental wellbeing and physical wellbeing are of course important, there are many other elements that should be considered and we predict 2021 will see these become increasingly important.
The zones of engagement emerged from research at the end of 2019 and have since become a useful tool to help businesses map out where their employees sit. The spectrum demonstrates that team behaviours and the overall team climate when looked at in conjunction can reveal very different levels of engagement.
The spectrum is an enlightening tool because it reveals that proactive behaviour isn’t necessarily an indication of engaged employees. In fact, if employees are working in a negative environment, proactive behaviour can instead be a sign of pseudo-engagement which essentially means that employees are playing the system to serve their own needs. So, the lesson here is that you can’t determine how engaged your employees are by simply looking at how they behave. To truly understand you need to dig deeper and look at a range of elements. One important takeaway from 2019 is just how crucial the employee experience is to overall employee engagement. HR professionals are becoming more aware of how the employee experience can either make or break their employees’ engagement levels and increasingly using it to shape their employee engagement strategies. Rather than focusing on employees that are already settled, this approach encourages businesses to look at the entire employee experience – the journey an employee takes from applying for a job, being taken on board, settling into the role and beyond – and consider how they can improve to make employees feel more engaged.
A positive working environment, regular communications and the ability for employees to voice their honest thoughts are just a few examples of ways businesses can start to improve their employee experience.
Nigel Chambers, Sales Director
0333 433 0310