engagement is a puzzle many HR managers spend their entire careers trying to
solve. Industry thought leaders are now pointing to the employee experience as one of the biggest factors impacting employee engagement.
However, it’s no longer enough
to “work on” the employee experience.
Today’s workforce wants to have personalized, interactive experiences—they want to be part of a community, to receive constructive feedback, and to have insight into organizational objectives. With half of North America’s employees working at least partially remote, these engagement tactics are more important than ever before.
That means companies must leverage the latest tools and processes in order to adjust aspects of the employee lifecycle such as onboarding, integrating collaborative tools into the day-to-day, and investing in creating socially-driven employee advocates.
Let’s examine three critical mistakes with employee engagement, along with our recommendations on how to fix them.
Mistake #1: An Uninspired Onboarding Process
Onboarding refers to the process by which incoming employees learn the skills, behaviors, and tools required to do their jobs effectively. It’s a pivotal part of the employee experience, as it shapes an employee’s framework of understanding in terms of success in their role and the culture of a workplace. Moreover, 53% of HR professionals say employee engagement rises when onboarding is improved.
Many HR managers consider reducing time to productivity to be a priority. If a company doesn’t have a positive or efficient onboarding process, they’re likely to suffer from lower levels of productivity and engagement from their workforce.
In the digital age, mobile responsiveness and interactivity play a role in retention and engagement. Many have turned to talent management software to help optimize the process for both parties. These tools create configurable online portals for job training that incorporate interactive media elements like video and role-based simulations. Additionally, providing access to online documents and staff directories ensures employees can quickly complete onboarding requirements while familiarizing themselves with their coworkers.
Employees who move through the onboarding process quickly and effectively are setting themselves up for success. Guiding them through the process helps them feel acknowledged and supported from the outset, leading to better talent outcomes.
Mistake #2: Keeping Remote Workers Apart
These days, workforces are becoming more and more distributed. The prevalence of flexible and remote working arrangements provides businesses with the ability to scale a workforce with talented professionals, regardless of physical location. Use of digital communications tools continues to evolve, with phone conversations and face-to-face meetings decreasing ( 30% and 44%, respectively) and instant messaging, work-based social media, and collaboration platforms increasing in prevalence (increasing at rates of 62%, 69%, and 70%, respectively).
Fostering a community of happy and engaged employees should be a top priority for any organization, though in the case of an organization with many remote workers, fostering that community comes with its challenges, and a more unique approach can be effective.
With a live events solution in place, company events like town halls or all-hands meetings have the potential to transform into highly engaging experiences for everyone involved. By adding Q&A capabilities or live blogging into your event experience, companies can improve connections with remote employees and encourage participation.
By turning events like quarterly business reviews, shareholder meetings, and town halls, into more dynamic, digital experiences, a company can actively foster employee engagement, retention, and advocacy.
Mistake #3: Losing Sight of the Brand as an Employer
Workplaces are becoming increasingly social. In the modern age, job functions that were once in the realm of marketers have bled into HR and recruiting strategy — most notably in maintaining an employer’s brand. An employer’s brand is the first point of reference many candidates have of a company, what they’re about, as well as what it might be like to work there. In many cases, candidates will trust the word of a current employee over claims made by the company itself.
In order for HR and recruiting strategies to be successful, managers have to increase the level of social advocacy among their employees. By implementing events solutions as mentioned above, companies can build a cohesive culture based on feedback, recognition, and engagement.
The key is to engage employees as part of a work community and empower them to interact with company communications. From there, employees can share content with their network, strengthening a company’s brand as an employer.
Making Employee Engagement a Priority
The employee experience is directly tied to employee engagement. All steps of the process, from initial onboarding, to day-to-day collaboration and employer branding, play a role in engaging a company’s talent base.
In the digital era, interactivity across a multitude of channels and devices is necessary to ensure the best possible employee experience.
To learn more about employee engagement, get the top suggestions for modernizing your corporate communications here.
Kate Mills is an Editorial Content Strategist at Rock Content.