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Employee engagement - how hard can it be?

Friday September 06, 2019

Communication

Posted on: Friday September 06, 2019

That’s the question a lot of people (typically those not working in HR) are asking. Surely you just give out free fruit to employees or let them have an early finish on their birthday? If only it were that simple. The modern workforce has evolved and is becoming ever more complex – meaning this complexity extends to properly engaging employees and ensuring that their needs are properly et.

When it comes to creating an innovative employee engagement strategy, you firstly need to get the Board behind you, which can sometimes be tricky. They need to see that employee engagement is broad and diverse but also that the ways of approaching it can be made simple and have quick results – when done correctly.

Once you’ve got the backing from the Board, you can begin tackle your issues.

How the problem of employee engagement can be made simpler.  

First you need to identify the problems, and the best way to do that is to ask your employees. Workforces are more diverse than ever, and one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to employee engagement. Each employee has a different issue or concern in the workplace. For some it might be childcare, others it might be struggling to make their pay go further - breaking down the key issues amongst your employees then means that you can create a bespoke employee engagement strategy that provides solutions to each employee’s pain point. It may sound like a lot of groundwork, but once you have done this your engagement endeavours are likely to be more effective.

PROBLEM 1 - Employees think you aren't doing anything for them.

Solution: Round up of what you are doing.

Run a lunch and learn or Q&A with the CEO to show that you care about how they are feeling and offer solutions that make all staff engaged. Put everything together in one place. Make it simple, easily accessible and most of all, fun to use. Employees will not be engaged if they don’t know what services and benefits are available to them. Show your staff the reasons why they should appreciate working for you and they will then start to engage. After all, you need to know your message so that your employees can follow suit.  

PROBLEM 2 - You have lots of engagement initiatives running at the same time and it's getting confusing. 

Solution: Time for a review.

Make a list of all engagement comms, incentives and events that are running or have run in the past. What worked, what didn’t? Benchmark yourself and see where improvements can be made. You could even create an engagement calendar so that the Board can clearly see what your plans are and the strategy behind it, so it is simple and clear to understand. Not only will this help your case, but will prove your organisational skills further.

PROBLEM 3 -  Employees don’t feel rewarded or recognised.

Solution: Celebrate achievements and offer opportunities to improve.  

We are not saying offer every employee a pay rise - that definitely won’t win over the board! However, what you can do is offer cost effective reward and recognition programmes or implement a new LMS platform. This will allow employees to aim high and get recognised for when they do something above and beyond their role. In return, your employees will be happier and may even work harder. In this case, the organisation could see an improvement in productivity levels. 

How to approach the board with these issues.  

Don’t play the blame game. 

Try and focus on the opportunities rather than the problem. Highlight the benefits these changes will have to the business - look at the holistic as well as the financial benefits to cover all angles. 

Evidence.

Case studies demonstrate that this is what your employees want. Perhaps trial your engagement strategy with a small focus group and highlight the improvements on engagement levels. 

Show that simple things can make a difference. 

Employee engagement strategies don’t have to cost the earth. Pulse surveys can be as quick as a straw poll or a push notification to employee’s mobile phone. In the moment information can give you a simple overview of what is going on, on the ground, without having to wait until the costly annual survey rolls around. This means that you can be reactive and come up with solutions in the moment, showing the board that employee engagement can be proactive and not just reactive. 

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