At a time of near full employment and in a candidate-led market, nearly one in three (28%) employers have admitted that they are struggling to keep th
At a time of near full employment and in a candidate-led market, nearly one in three (28%) employers have admitted that they are struggling to keep their employees engaged, according to research released from totaljobs.
Over half of employers said lower productivity (59%) and internet browsing (55%) were clear signs of lower engagement they were seeing in the workplace. Worryingly, 62% said poor performance was a common problem as a result of a lack of engagement.
Almost half (48%) of employers also report disengaged employees continue to arrive late and leave early, while 41% said chatting with colleagues suggested a lack of workplace engagement. The same number again said taking too many breaks during work hours might also indicate disengagement, as well as employees appearing distracted.
Effective employee engagement strategies
1. Communicate clearly
When it comes to tackling a lack of employee engagement, one in two employers (51%) said clear communication, via email, newsletters and team meetings for example, was an effective strategy to improve engagement.
This might mean a change to how you communicate. Millennials grew up on social media and messaging, for example and as much as we hate the M Word – it’s true – this generation expects a seamless transition from their social media habitat to their workplace. Hence, companies are investing in collaboration platforms that make it convenient for employees to chat and exchange ideas. Companies like LUSH, NASA and even Do Something are all using Slack, for example. (Source)
2. Make objectives and invest in training
Nearly half (46%) of employers said setting out clear objectives for both individuals and teams was also effective.
Companies that use training across the organisation to help employees build skills through immersive games that feature leaderboards, scores, badges and shareability might see better engagement scores. According to Deloitte, in a 2015 report, the third most important challenge for businesses was the need to transform and accelerate corporate learning, and the percentage of companies rating learning and development as very important had tripled since the previous year, but the readiness to address it went down. Only 40 percent of respondents rated their organizations as “ready” or “very ready” for learning and development.
3. Create the right place to work
Creating a stimulating work environment (39%) is constantly on the engagement spectrum – and you can’t ignore home working.
With growing internet penetration and remote access devices, offering employees flexible working hours when possible is a no-brainer, especially when they are having stretch targets as they can save time and energy spent on commuting. A recent Gallup poll cited in The New York Times found that 43% of Americans worked remotely at least part of the time last year.
In Acas, approximately 11% of staff are officially designated as homeworkers, but homeworking is used on an ad hoc basis by a much larger number of employees and around 46% work from home on a regular basis. A study of homeworking showed that:
“…employees who use homeworking moderately show higher levels of well-being than both office-based workers and employees who work mainly at or from home. This conclusion is supported by the findings in different areas. Partial homeworkers and mobile workers have higher levels of job satisfaction, job engagement and lower levels of burnout. As they enjoy the flexibility that comes with homeworking, they perceive having enhanced autonomy and control in their jobs, which is also linked to higher job satisfaction than their office-based colleagues.”
4. Make a team dynamic
Fostering a strong team dynamic (28%) and building a strong and visible management team (25%) all rated highly, and according to separate totaljobs’ research, 92% of employers say strong work relationships make people more engaged with their job. The value employees place on their working relationships has been recognised by employers, with 80% saying strong work connections are important. Perhaps you could look externally. For example, partnering with companies which have tools to measure employee satisfaction throughout the association with the organisation and even outsourcing exit interviews to a third party facilitates honest and objective feedback which the companies can then use to engage employees better.
5. Hire the right people!
As well as ‘rewarding the most proactive or engaged employees’ coming in at 24%, interestingly, more than four in 10 employers (44%) said hiring the right staff in the first instance is one of the most important ways to foster employee engagement.
Companies like L’Oreal use gamification to encourage potential employees to participate in a fun and feedback based medium. It positions the company as employee centric in the participant’s psyche. In fact, one particular game has over 6,000 likes on Facebook and has won a number of industry awards, including “Most innovative way of attracting graduates“.