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The ultimate guide to boosting employee engagement: Getting familiar with the wants and needs that motivate employees amid the COVID crisis

Rachel Argot
3/10/22 2:00 PM

DOCUMENT SHARED WITH YOU: “INTRO TO ARTICLE”

It is difficult to find an article about employee engagement without being bombarded with the newest statistic regarding how COVID has affected the workplace. There is no denying that people's attitudes towards work have changed drastically in the past two years due to the on-and-off-again lockdowns and remote working lifestyle. March 2022 marks a new season, but the same “not how it used to be” feeling. 

In a remote, digital age where contracts and business deals are all dependent on good wifi connection, it’s easy to feel disconnected and disengaged from your team. Without fully disregarding the direct effects the pandemic had on general workplace trends, the issues prevalent within company culture can be traced back to concerns expressed by employees long before the first reported case of COVID.

Regardless, certain organizations are pushing for work to carry on as usual. But time at home allowed employees to reimagine their work-life balance and decide what they want to be when they grow up: fulfilled, unique, secure, and understood. This guide is to make sure you are covering all your bases when it comes to taking care of your employees. Let’s start by sharing your screen. It’s the green button. No, the one with the arrow. Nope, the other one- yup, you got it!

GOOGLE SEARCH : HOW TO SCREEN SHARE WITH THE TEAM 

While all the needs and wants of employees are important, finding and sharing a common purpose within your organization is the master key that unlocks long-term loyalty and retention. On average, employees are spending one-third of their life time at or busy with work. Because of this, employees are looking for companies that have similar values to their own.

If you haven’t already set clear, transparent goals for you and your team, now is the time to screen share. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you may have to sharpen your marketing and management skills. “Marketers are responsible for aligning personal values with business objectives to deliver high-quality experiences that capture and retain customers.” The same principle can easily be applied to your engagement experiences. Employees are like customers- the more aligned they are with business goals and values, the more likely they are to stay engaged and deliver high quality work. 

High quality work can be interpreted into quantifiable, trackable data. By clearly stating and acting upon business values, you can acknowledge when needs have been met, specifically for individual employees. Employee recognition platforms can be customized and designed to automatically reward employees and reinforce engaged behavior.

While you still may have trouble sharing your screen, make sure to be overtly transparent about the wants and needs of the company. But how can you align business values with your employees if you don’t have a developed, personal relationship with them? Join me in breakout room 4 to find out.

 

THIS IS BREAKOUT ROOM 4: LET’S CHAT PRIVATELY  

While it is important to maintain a healthy boundary with employees when personal matters are involved, intentional, meaningful one-on-ones can improve workplace communication and boost overall employee engagement. No matter how high or low your job title ranks, it’s crucial to make time to, not only talk, but listen to the members on your team.

However, when assigned the manager role, take full advantage of the position. The employee experience starts and ends with managers. Managers are gatekeepers of engagement and translators of workplace culture. If you're unsure where to start, find out where your employees see themselves within the company. Ask what you can do to help them meet their goals. Employees can often be intimidated by one-on-one conversations, so make sure you make them feel comfortable by supporting their needs. Your manager conversions contribute to the qualitative analysis of employee wellbeing and engagement. 

Accountability is an essential workplace tenet that can only be practiced if both sides are trusting and honest. Increased engagement happens when employees are happy. As the relationship with individual employees builds, you may find that some are better off working in another wheelhouse, or even two at a time. If employees show signs of a dominant power skill (i.e., creative problem solving or team building), you may want to introduce coaching as a way to improve and upskill their credentials. If they’re already good employees, invest in making them great ones. When you invest in a person, less in what they can do for you, but more in who they are, you inspire work that is proud and passionate.

Employee engagement is all dependent on how successful you are in creating a work environment that promotes the idea and importance of well-being. Speaking of employee well-being, it’s kinda hard to hear you, is your mic on?

 

YEAH, SORRY ABOUT THE BACKGROUND NOISE: I’M IN LABOR

So, in this movie, the plot revolves around the burnt-out parent missing out on the basketball championship and/or ballet recital due to work obligations. It’s a trope in many tv shows and films, but unfortunately became a reality for many workers and their families.

Not all employees have families or basketball games to attend, but many are struggling to accommodate a healthy work-life balance. The fear of losing their job or missing a paycheck outweighs the disappointment of missing out on other important aspects of life. Rewardian is consistently developing and improving our software to encompass more data around well-being, tracking to better understand what motivates engagement. 

Employee well-being became especially important during the pandemic. Working from home saved workers money, time, and resources. While people may have not left the house for days at a time, they learned a new way of operating that did not involve the traditional work stressors that took a toll on their personal goals and values. They were forced to reinvent a new way of engaging in the workplace.

Customized benefit packages can improve an employee’s quality of life, work, and wellness. Mental health and well-being are determined by individual needs being fulfilled in a specific order. When you invest in more than just the “company standards or policies”, you create an environment conducive to loyal and engaged relationships. While happy employees are usually good employees, it’s important to note that employee engagement is dependent on a long-term connection to an organization- not just an emotional reaction. When you begin to recognize the desired behaviors, make sure to celebrate their accomplishments and share their ideas.

While you may not be physically or financially able to support everyone's needs equally, the social and emotional benefits of providing specialized care adds substantial and unique value to you, your employees, and your brand. Though we may have already mentioned how important communication is in order to develop a connection and understanding of those needs, this last section drives the point home.

 

DAVE, YOU’RE STILL ON MUTE

The importance of communication is heavily sprinkled throughout this article and you’re doing it wrong if you’re only moving in one direction. Active listening is more than a workplace trend, it’s crucial to developing strong, healthy workplace relationships. As mentioned before, many issues in the workplace were concerns before the long-term effects of COVID. High turnover rates, loss in morale, and decrease in engagement are all symptoms of tone-deaf management. You have to allow space and time for your employees to share what they believe can help and improve the workplace environment, even if it means ditching traditional procedures and services. Use these points to improve and (re)design workplace habits that complement the unique skill set of your team:

 

  1. Ask what they need in order to thrive
  2. Allow them to work in spaces where they perform their best
  3. Act on how they prefer to be recognized (i.e., public vs. private)

Employers who mute their employees are liable to miss out on top talent and perspective. When you focus on the needs of employees, you gain the opportunity to ensure that perception and attitudes toward the organization stay positive. Design a culture based on recognition, growth and gratitude. This cultivates a more efficient and effective workplace environment that encourages and boosts overall employee engagement.

 

I KNOW THIS MEETING ENDED 14 MINUTES AGO: BUT I JUST WANNA CIRCLE BACK TO MY LAST POINT

We’ve introduced, or at the very least, reminded you of the ways you can encourage employee engagement. Engaged employees are actively involved in their work, enthusiastic about it. Simply thanking employees for a job well done can be a great start when trying to boost overall engagement. However, staying positive and relevant during these unprecedented times is much easier said than done. The good news is that you don’t have to do it all on your own. If you have any questions about how to or when to engage your team, feel free to contact us. We’re here to help motivate and celebrate the team and organization you’ve worked so hard for. If you’re ready for a happier workplace and more productive workplace, shoot us an email and we’d be more than happy to share our two cents.

Gratitude promotes engagement. And we've heard it's contagious.  

 


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