How to Kick Employee Engagement into High Gear for 2021

Employees who feel their voice is heard are 4.6x more likely to feel empowered to perform their best work. Employee engagement has been a topic of much discussion in HR and management circles over the last decade or more. Recently though, as the workforce changes and shifts with global happenings, engagement has once again bubbled to the top. This time with added concerns:

How do I keep my employees engaged digitally?

How can I understand employee sentiment when we’re all remote?

How can we keep our engagement high while navigating multiple changes?

While there is no right answer for every company or every employee, we can look at how we’ve engaged our employees in the past and double down on best practices implemented digitally.

Ways to Engage Employees Digitally

Build trust. 

Your employees need to know they can trust the leadership at your workplace. While this is the purview of the executives and management in your company, it’s also imperative to make it simple to submit concerns and feedback and commit to changes when appropriate. This is the quickest way to build trust internally.

Encourage internal learning laterally. 

Often employees find themselves in a silo. When they are encouraged to share their feedback with management and each other in a positive and structured way, these learnings can go beyond the individual to impact entire teams, departments, and ultimately, the company as a whole.

Communicate as much as possible. 

While communication has always been a bedrock of employee engagement and experience, never before has the workforce been so remote as it is today. Even if your whole company is not working remotely, chances are you have a few people who cannot be in the office. Communication must be made a priority, and communication goes both ways.

Keep a pulse on employee experience and sentiment. 

You can’t always solve for employee issues without knowing the whole story. Offering a listening vehicle to your employees, especially one that commits to enacting change, is a valuable tool in your arsenal.

The Value of Employee Engagement Surveys

As you can see, surveying your employees regularly and at crucial milestones and communicating how you’ll enact those changes not only builds trust, it starts a conversation aimed at continuous improvement.

A Great Employee Engagement Survey Program:

  1. Measures how employees are feeling and lets them know their opinions are valued. When industry and workforce trends are changing on a dime, annual surveys may no longer be useful or valid. Your employees need to understand you are listening right now to what is happening inside your employees’ lives and inside the (figurative) company walls.
  2. Provides a real-time vehicle for honest and anonymous employee feedback. Not all feedback is pleasant, and it’s possible when first implementing a survey program, you may receive some feedback that requires immediate action and improvement. Don’t be discouraged. You want honest feedback. Surveys allow for that, so create your surveys to elicit honest answers, and if your workforce wants to help with improvement, request the solutions they might have.
  3. Identifies trends and areas for improvement. You can’t manage what you don’t measure. If you are unaware of a problem, you cannot address it. Further, when you can show a clear trend or fissure in the organization, you are more likely to get some authority to fix that problem or leverage it for improvement.
  4. Informs leadership and managers. Every person in your organization needs feedback, and managers are no exceptions. Let’s not forget they’re also working to keep people motivated and moving forward, despite uncertainty. When you inform them, you equip them.
  5. Enables proactive responses when issues arise. Once you’ve begun your employee engagement survey program, you’ll start to see issues before they arise. This helps proactively manage small problems before they turn into large ones. You can see results, spot trends, and act on findings.
  6. Increases employee engagement, trust, and retention. It’s hard to continue to work at your peak productivity if you feel your voice and opinions don’t matter. When employees are engaged in giving and getting feedback, and they know their issues and concerns are being taken seriously, they have more available emotional energy to devote to their daily work.

The Business Case for Collecting Employee Feedback

Tracking and responding to employee feedback in real-time improves business results and workplace culture. It’s that simple. Here’s what we know for sure:

Whether you approach employee engagement surveys from an anecdotal and instinctive perspective or you look at the cold, hard facts above, it’s clear that surveys are a smart and effective way to improve your organization. There’s never been a better time to put employee experience and engagement at the top of your priority list.

Leave a Comment