The age-old employee engagement methods will fail in the coming year 2023.
Employee engagement has undergone a paradigm shift in a post-pandemic world. Similarly, engaging different types of workforces from in-office, hybrid, and remote workers would be challenging for HR leaders. So, what are some of these new ways in which HR professionals can keep their employees engaged?
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In the workplace, transactional relationships will no longer work. Managers will have to create real and meaningful relationships with their team members to drive engagement at the workplace. For instance, an employee might take time off to care for his ailing parents, or sometimes an employee might arrive late to work due to genuine reasons. Therefore, the manager must be understanding and acknowledge such concerns. Empathy must be a behavioural change driven from the top, and HR must make it part of the company’s culture.
The pandemic has accelerated the process of digitalisation in many organisations. As companies worldwide adopt hybrid and remote working models, implementing digital and technology-driven ways to keep employee engagement levels high will become increasingly important. Moreover, the young generation joining the workforce prefers and is more comfortable adopting digital ways of rewarding and recognition at the workplace. In fact, as per a data revealed by International Data Corporation (IDC) says that 3/4th of organisations globally, wanted to increase their digital transformation spending as compared to last year. Managers will need to leverage tools and platforms which can help them appreciate even the smallest effort of employees that too instantaneously.
In a post pandemic era, flexibility and having a work-life-balance has become essential for people. Employees are looking at flexible working models from their respective employers. Managers will have to accept remote working and work from home models. Previously, remote working was regarded as a privilege, but now it is a necessity. Organizations will now need to move beyond flexible working hours, which are already in place in some companies.
Employees around the globe have seen people suffering and dying when the COVID 19 struck us. People have started giving importance to their physical wellbeing. Taking care of employees, giving access to healthcare services and products and financial support in the form of providing health insurance to employees are points of attracting and retaining good talent in the organisation.
Moreover, supporting mental health issues at the workplace is essential. More than just supporting but creating a culture of recognising such mental health issues is much more important. Providing EAPs (Employee Assistance Programmes) where people have access to experts to address mental health issues has become a must. Moreover, extending this assistance programme to the employee’s family members is also something which companies can look to add on. It is a trend which was adopted by many companies during the lockdowns.
In today’s world, upskilling goes beyond mastering skills and includes keeping employees engaged. Digital learning and e-learning solutions keep employees engaged and happy. Gamified learning modules and implementation of leaderboard makes the whole learning experience exciting and engaging.
Earlier, companies were not adequately equipped with tools which could drive employee engagement in a virtual environment. In light of the fact that these platforms have developed and matured over the past two years, companies are now able to leverage these tools. As there are employees working remotely, it will be important to include them in the team and to create bonds through virtual tools.
Moreover, companies can also work upon enhancing employee engagement experiences through virtual means. Celebrating career milestones, birthdays and annual days virtually without compromising on the experience is something that companies will need to focus on.
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Though the pandemic has disrupted various HR processes, engaging employees in a hybrid and virtual environment has become way too challenging. In addition, corporations are focusing on employee wellbeing as part of their employee engagement strategy.