y this point, we’re all getting used to this new work environment COVID-19 created for us. We now know that employees can be just as productive at home as in the office. Some organizations have wholly embraced the shift to remote, hiring remote workers and occupying less office space. Many others are embracing various forms of hybrid work. Technology has enabled individuals, managers, and departments to more easily communicate with each other and share information regarding tasks, sales goals, projects, etc. Flexible schedules have allowed employees to work at hours that are more convenient for them. Now they can pick up and drop off kids at school, schedule doctor appointments, and get their hair cut when they want.
But with all these new changes comes a whole new set of challenges. Now that people are interacting with each other differently, team dynamics have changed dramatically. With some employees working at home and some working in the office, companies need to figure out how to keep everyone equally engaged. Here are four employee engagement strategies HR leaders can use in 2021 and beyond. These strategies are meant to promote strong and collaborative dynamics so that your business can run smoothly and grow.
1. Provide Opportunities for Professional Growth
No company wants to be a stepping stone for better opportunities. Ensure your organization is a place where employees want to build and shape their careers. Ask what employees want out of their job by spending dedicated time planning a path forward. You want to make them feel like they belong. Their managers should be their coach and mentor—not just someone that barks orders and asks for things to get done.
Managers should identify their strengths and weaknesses to build a plan around professional growth. Development starts with aligning an employee’s aspirations with the company’s vision. By providing certifications, conferences, training, and education opportunities, they can work towards their goals. This will make them feel engaged and empowered to be more productive.
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2. Regularly Measure Employee Engagement
Employees are the foundation of any organization. If you don’t know what they are thinking and feeling, you’ll soon run into trouble. Having regular meetings with them to discuss how they’re feeling about the company, their position, what they’re currently working on, and how they think they can improve goes a long way. Another way you can measure their engagement is by the work they are doing. Using modern technology to measure their output helps in figuring out who is struggling before it’s too late.
With real-time, up-to-the-minute data showing you who is falling behind or who isn’t completing their tasks on time will give you a better picture of who isn’t engaged. MetaSpark is a great tool for measuring if employees are struggling with their work. As they complete their work, Metaspark analyzes it and generates productivity dashboards. In real-time, you can see which teams or individuals are most productive and which may need help—even for remote employees.
3. Be Realistic with Your Team’s Goals
It often happens that leaders rely on their most engaged employees to do most of the heavy lifting. While this might seem like a good strategy for some time, you don’t want to be responsible for burning them out. This will most likely lead to a high turnover rate for your most productive employees and resentment. Instead, hold every employee accountable for producing the same amount of output. By holding everyone to the same standard, you’re treating them all fairly and with the same respect.
You also want to ensure they aren’t judged and evaluated on factors outside of their control. And when you ask for improvement, know that 100% improvement is hard to aim for with so many tasks. Try to increase productivity by a small percentage month to month and go from there. Nobody wants to feel pressured to do something that seems over the top and unrealistic.
4. Have an Inclusive Work Environment
To create an inclusive work environment, it’s important to have regular discussions with employees to identify productivity problems. Bringing these issues to light is only possible if employees feel like they can express their views and suggest solutions. They’ll feel more inclined to tell you their ideas if you reward the best ones. You can do this by running a ‘Great Idea’ hack to encourage forward-thinking.
Another way to make employees feel included is to involve them in the business planning process. Employees become more engaged in their work when they have a sense of belonging. Do this by including them in larger business objectives—planning, opportunity assessment, ideas for improvement, aligning strategy with vision, and so on. This will help build trust and loyalty with the organization, which leads to a sense of responsibility. When employees feel responsible for the success of the business, they’ll work harder to ensure its success.
Employees want to be engaged. Most of us spend the largest portion of our waking hours at work, so none of us want to feel bored and disinterested. According to a report by The Conference Board, 96% of workers try to actively maintain a high level of engagement even if they struggle to succeed. As Steve Jobs famously once said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.”
One way to improve employee engagement is through technology that makes work life easier, more convenient, and rewards employees for the work they do. With MetaSpark, artificial intelligence automatically brings all your employees’ tasks and communications into one dashboard and analyzes their output. When employees complete their tasks, they can collect points that go towards rewards like gift cards and donations to their favorite charities.
Are you looking to engage employees with a workforce productivity hub that offers accurate, data-driven insights into productivity across individuals, departments, and the entire organization? Get a demo of MetaSpark today.