In a recent blog, we looked at why it’s a good time to review and improve your employee engagement and provided some top tactics for achieving high engagement levels. But there may be other, perhaps less obvious, strategies that you could implement.
1. PROVIDE THE RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE JOB
Are your systems always crashing? Is there too much downtime? Are the phones ancient? Can people get their work done effectively with the systems/processes that are in place? Investing in the right systems and technologies may be difficult when budgets are tight, but this can often be an area that affects engagement levels a lot. Involve your teams when you are making decisions on new technologies and systems for greater engagement.
Encouraging collaboration between teams makes for a stronger workforce. Get them to improve processes together. Do you have processes that touch different teams? Can they work together to find a more efficient customer focussed approach? It could lead to better working relationships and understanding too.
3. INVEST IN TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Value the impact that expanding your employees’ knowledge base has. It will improve their weaknesses, drive a higher performance, and, of course, it shows they are valued and will therefore boost morale.
The cost of losing an employee can be high, yet training and development can often be the first thing to go when a business is struggling. Perhaps it would be better to invest in someone than lose them and then spend thousands to replace them?
Online training and e-learning needs to be utilised now more than ever, and it can be a very cost-effective way to develop people. It also creates flexibility around their learning, so they can do it at times convenient for them.
4. REAP THE REWARDS OF RECOGNITION
Research shows that 89% of organisations think people leave because of money but only 12% actually do. What people expect is ‘fair’ pay for the job that they do. However, other benefits, rewards and recognition do play an important part.
Things that were viewed as perks in the past, have now become expectations for many – from workplace snacks to flexible working. You must also pick benefits that reflect your organisation’s culture, whether that’s team nights out, wellbeing initiatives or support with childcare. Help people feel secure with critical illness cover and a good sick leave offering so they know you are there in times of need.
You should also be clear on the career paths available. Make sure everyone knows that if they work hard and give passion they can progress if they want to (remember not everyone does!). Have a strong appraisal system and give regular constructive feedback to your employees – do not steer away from difficult conversations.
It’s important to act now. If employees aren’t recognised for their hard work during these times – their passion, stamina and focus may diminish. Even if it is just a simple thank you, this goes a long way – 79% of people cite lack of recognition as reason for leaving their jobs. Make recognition for a good job done the norm. You should also promote it among your teams – get them to say thank you and celebrate each other too.
5. DEMONSTRATE CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY
Showing that you care is key for employee engagement, so it’s important to get your corporate and social responsibility strategy right.
For instance, ensure you have a strong health and safety strategy with goals for accident reductions, clear return to work processes, and absence management. Look at ways to enhance wellbeing, improve organisational resilience, develop better work life balance, and reduce individual burnout. You should also put into place good HR policies around performance management, equal opportunities, and bullying/harassment, for instance.
Similarly, find ways to show that you care about others as this is also very valued by employees. Ensure that you have good engagement with, and give back to, the local community. You could support charitable work, perhaps by offering employees days off for volunteering, and should ensure you have clear environmental and sustainability strategies.
6. LEAD FROM THE FRONT
Employee engagement is mostly driven by the leaders and managers around them, so you must be clear on your company objectives. Make sure your employees know how they can contribute towards them and how they will benefit. You are the face of change, so ensure the reasons behind any change are always clearly communicated.
Everyone’s role is essential, so show employees they are valued by considering their perspective. Stand on their mountain! You may both be on the top of a mountain but the view from yours and the view from theirs may be very different. Bear that in mind.
ENGAGEMENT ATTRACTS TALENT
Good employee engagement is also a crucial part of attracting the right talent. Positive employee word of mouth travels fast and is one of the best ways to attract the right people to your organisation.
When it comes to recruitment advertisements, tell people about your high engagement levels! But also think about how the language and images you use in your marketing come across, and if they accurately showcase your company’s passion, culture, and diversity. At interviews and assessment days, you should also communicate to potential employees how they can make a difference when they join your company, and that your business has the values they find important.
When it’s possible, also think about community outreach. Getting into local schools and colleges is a great chance to support your youth employment by talking to young people about the sector and the opportunities it offers.
MORE WAYS TO IMPROVE ENGAGEMENT
For even more guidance on ways to improve employee engagement in the current economic climate, join fellow HR, management, and training professionals at the upcoming Talent in Logistics Annual Conference. This digital one-day event on 23rd September 2020 will provide inspiration and insight around employee engagement, with our sector’s amazing people at the heart of every session.