Inclusivity and collaboration are a lot like a big tub of Nutella and a fluffy pair of slippers. There are very few things in this life that are not improved when you add them to the mix. This includes your employee engagement strategy.
Employee engagement has been a big focus for businesses of all shapes and sizes for years, and with good reason - a disconnected team is not a vibe. This is clear to just about everyone who's ever been a part of one, and also apparent from stats provided by industry experts like Gallup.
According to their findings, disengaged employees are up to 37% more likely to have high absentee levels, 18% more likely to show sub-par productivity, and 15% less profitable from a business point of view than their engaged peers.
Check out our YouTube channel for awesome videos on everything from the science of employee recognition to creating an internal communications strategy for enhanced engagement.
See what we mean? Not a vibe at all.
Which brings us to the question - who is responsible for employee engagement? Many companies tend to misjudge their approach in this regard by addressing it from the top down. In cases like these, their strategies often fail to address grassroots issues and bypass the needs and wants of the employees that are meant to be engaged by the plans and processes in question.
This is why inclusion and collaboration is so important, especially in light of the Coronacoaster we’ve all been on since March 2020. If ever there was a global happenstance that pulled the need for a firm grasp on employee wellbeing into sharp focus, it has to be the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Worldwide, businesses were forced by lockdown measures to close their doors and send their workforce home to adapt to a WFH reality and juggle their job responsibilities with added family pressures and complete uncertainty about what the future may hold.
It's no wonder that search terms like 'employee wellbeing' were searched up to 300% more in this time when compared to the year before, and that 'how to engage employees' shot through the roof as a searched term.
But let’s get back to inclusion and collaboration and how it can boost employee engagement, shall we?
Why solely management-driven engagement initiatives seldom work
For many businesses, the first step towards developing an engagement strategy is often the result of an HR practitioner diligently bringing up the issue at management meeting after management meeting. Once some budget is freed up, it might go towards an employee satisfaction survey, of which the data is given a look-over and then filed away.
Next up, a few extrinsic employee engagement initiatives may surface. Think fresh fruit in the communal kitchen, casual Fridays, some lunch here and there and perhaps a fun after-work activity or two. While these little tips of the hat are not to be sniffed at, they seldom speak to the real motivators that can really make a difference in how emotionally committed an employee is to their organisation, and its vision, purpose and goals. That requires intrinsic motivators.
When an engagement strategy comes from the top down, it also means that the organisation's leaders are acting as regulators of the process. While some of this might hit home, on average a strategy that comes from this angle alone has the potential to be rather disconnected and unrepresentative of the needs of the employees it actually has to benefit.
How to create a sense of belonging by giving your team a voice
Here are a few pointers from the bountiXP team that will help you to pave the way for a more inclusive approach to tailoring employee engagement initiatives that work:
- Understand that while financial security is one of the main motivators for most employees, there are other personal drivers and motivators that need to be addressed by your in-house initiatives. Also, these drivers have likely changed in the last year, as people started to question their work set-up in relation to their home lives even more.
- Always strive to create a reality in which your employees feel like they belong to and contribute to the greater whole. Nurturing an emotional connection between employees and the workplace holds long-term benefits for everyone.
- Take your cue from the playbook of the greats. Don’t be afraid to look around to see what your competitors are doing for their people. If there are companies within your industry that consistently attract and retain top talent, it will definitely be worth your while to find out how they are creating such a popular workspace.
- Check in with your team before you undertake your engagement journey, and then keep checking in with them. Pulse surveys and sentiment measuring is imperative if you want to know whether the changes you make and initiatives you roll out are having the desired effect. However, everything starts with creative problem-solving that includes input from the entire team.
DID YOU KNOW? The bountiXP platform offers actionable insights by enabling management to send pulse surveys and gather feedback, fast. Surveys can be pre-scheduled or created spontaneously using pre-set templates or by customising your own. Sign up for a FREE trial to see it in practice here.
There you have it - the short of the long on how a focus on inclusivity and collaboration can boost your employee engagement strategy from the inside out. Check back soon for more insider insights and helpful advice from the bountiXP team.
In the meantime, remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel where we share short-and-sweet videos that get to the bottom of important HR matters like barriers to employee engagement, how to set up a recognition and reward platform, and more.