Employee needs and expectations have evolved since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. And it’s more important than ever for employers to understand how their team members feel.
According to Porter Novelli’s Roadmap to Reopen study, 69% of employees think their feedback should be included in their company’s decision to reopen. Employees also want their employer to ask if they feel comfortable going back to work.
Checking in and listening to employee feedback not only shows that you care; it also can boost employee engagement. When employees are engaged, they are more productive in their work, have positive interactions with coworkers and have a better work attitude. Additionally, employee engagement connects employees to the company’s mission, values and goals.
How can your organization successfully increase employee engagement? Whether employees are working from home or in the office, these four techniques withstand the test of time.
1. Ask Employees How They Feel
The first step in improving employee engagement is to understand where your company currently stands with employees. What do they like and dislike about the company? How do they feel about the company’s decisions and actions? Are they connected to and driven by the mission and vision? Do employees believe that their opinions are valued and acted upon?
After completing a benchmark survey, follow it up annually with similar employee engagement surveys. Supplemented by exit interview data, these annual employee surveys will help you evaluate employee engagement and adjust.
2. Involve Employees at Every Level
When employees from all levels of a company have an opportunity to share and receive feedback, they can better understand the company’s challenges and work together to create solutions. Employees also feel valued when their input is taken into account, which encourages them to step up.
Additionally, it is critical to keep in mind that decisions made at the top have direct ramifications for employees who are face-to-face with your customers. Keeping an open line of communication with customer-facing employees is key to making sure those decisions are sound and constructive.
3. Engage Employees in Social Responsibility
In a Benevity Engagement Study, turnover dropped by 57% in employee groups most deeply connected to their companies’ giving and volunteering efforts. When work culture allows or, even better, incentivizes employees to be involved in community and social issues they care about, they are more likely to be engaged with their employer.
Community relations programs can be as simple as offering a few scheduled volunteer opportunities throughout the year to employees or as complex as rewarding employees with additional benefits like paid time-off for their outside-of-work volunteer hours. The options and opportunities are endless! (Read more in our blog about Using Community Relations to Enhance Your Company.)
Broader corporate social responsibility programs build feelings of goodwill for your company among employees and external stakeholders alike. People appreciate feeling like they are part of, or are supporting, something positive. Donating to nonprofits or environmental initiatives can improve perceptions of your company and get employees excited about doing good.
4. Feature Employees in Your Materials
Employees love to see themselves and fellow employees featured in company stories and highlights. Sharing stories about your employees’ outstanding work shows that your company appreciates the care they put into their job.
Highlight how employees go above and beyond to solve customer problems, how they give back to their community, and how they have an impact on other employees’ lives. Share stories on company intranet sites, social media, newsletters or even annual reports.
How to Begin
Plain and simple, companies need to make a concerted effort to ask their employees for feedback and use that feedback when making decisions. Employees will be more engaged, and motivated to work toward organizational goals, when their voices are heard and their feedback is valued.
Building a successful employee engagement plan takes expertise, research and time. Are you ready to make the investment? Contact us to learn how PRworks can bring a strategic, employee engagement program to your organization.