In this current climate of uncertain changes and events, it is essential that individuals feel valued, connected and included. It is this key concept of belonging in furthering employee engagement, that is discussed by EFS radio show host Jo Dodds, and special guest Ritu Mohanka.
The employee engagement movement is one that has continuously developed and evolved over time, more recently in response to a changing landscape. When other happenings such as economic disruption, the global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement are factored in, it’s clear to see that there have been changes concerning what prospective employees seek in an employer. To help navigate these changes it is imperative for organisations, that individuals feel a sense of belonging. Whether this is something that is incorporated into company culture, or as part of an organisation’s employee engagement initiative, this concept is seen as essential to negotiating these changes.
Impact of Employee Engagement
Ritu Mohanka, Head of Business Development and Strategic Growth in EMEA at Glint, stated: “The importance of engagement can’t be overstated. Everyone knows that engagement strategies have proven to contribute to many key ROI metrics such as talent retention, innovation, customer loyalty, and overall workplace culture”.
In the current crisis that has had an impact worldwide, employee engagement is becoming essential for allowing organisations to retain and develop relationships with their employees, who may be working remotely, both now and beyond the crisis. It has become a necessity that individuals feel included, understood and onboard. The main questions surround how organisations may be aided in furthering employee engagement, and how to tailor such engagement initiatives during such unpredictability. Ritu further emphasises the fact that in order to ascertain what promotes adaptability, happiness, and prosperity in individuals, leaders must listen to their employees.
Ritu further states: “Consistent thoughtful conversations between managers and employees will help organisations support each employee”.
“The employee engagement survey process also contributes to employees feeling involved in having a voice, particularly right now people want to feel a sense of connection, they want to feel really that they belong”.
With more employees expressing that working remotely has created a sense of disconnection with their co-workers, now is a good time for organisations to act upon this trend with strategies, to ensure that belonging and interconnectedness are encouraged betwixt individuals.
Utilising a range of ways organisations can remain connected to their employees, video calls and surveys are useful in providing insights into each individual experience, and giving a voice to those experiences. Once organisations have this feedback, they can effectively respond to personal needs, for example with days off and flexible working, to enhance belonging and well being. These insights can help generate constructive and effectual conversations with employees.
Maintaining regular communication with employees can ensure that those who may not feel as connected to their colleagues currently, will still feel a connection to their organisation. This can help employees feel valued, and leaders feel valuable through being in an essential position to aid the wellbeing of others.
More organisations have taken on a proactive approach to fostering employee wellbeing. In this climate of organisational improvement, feedback and suggestions are openly encouraged. Under the current circumstances, a sense of unity between organisations and employees has occurred through the shared navigation of uncertainty. This can promote a sense of reciprocal empathy, unity, connection, and could also boost overall happiness.
Top Tips to Foster Belonging
Below are some top tips from the show to help proactively foster a feeling of belonging amongst employees within an organisation.
- Collect feedback regularly – the data is something that can be orchestrated by managers
- Action and be productive with feedback
- Ask open ended questions –these leave room for comments to help define individual needs and experiences
- Construct a strategy based on this feedback
- As soon as practicable – individuals can feel reassured knowing action is being taken
This may form the future of employee engagement with an active more than a passive approach being implemented to achieve results; matching feedback to actions. In this way employees feel listened to, understood and valued.