Although there were undoubtedly many negatives arising from the pandemic, it turns out that companies did a pretty good job of looking after their employees. When the Covid-19 crisis hit, most organisations stepped up to the mark and took good care of their employee’s safety and security. They quickly put plans into action, ramped up their internal communication efforts, and ensured that remote working was an effective alternative to office-based work.
However, as the world returns to more usual operations, our employees’ requirements continue to evolve, and a more sophisticated approach is needed. This return phase offers an opportunity for companies to consider the entire employee experience in the new business landscape. This is where employee engagement comes into its own.
In this blog, we look at the benefits of employee engagement in the light of recent events.
We explore the true benefits of staff engagement for both remote and office-based workers. Ensuring that every individual is as engaged and motivated as possible will deliver a wide range of advantages for your business, from staff retention to improved productivity. Let’s take a look at those employee engagement benefits…
Benefit #1: Your employees will be more productive
Let’s get straight down to business. While having a happy, cheerful workforce is all very well, it’s probably not top of the CEO’s agenda. However, a highly productive workforce who generate good profits… well, that’s definitely going to be number one on the list.
Why is employee engagement important? The answer is right here. Employee engagement has a very real impact on profit margins. According to Gallup, companies with a highly engaged workforce are 17% more productive, and in turn, deliver 21% higher levels of profitability. Convert those percentages into pounds, and you’re looking at a serious level of return. It has to be one of the most compelling business benefits of employee engagement.
The Post-Covid Perspective: A more surprising outcome of Covid was the discovery that remote working does not lead to a downturn in productivity. In fact, many employees found that working from home made them more productive because they were better able to create an environment that suited their working style. One of the key employee engagement trends for 2021 is the shift to remote working as a lasting solution.
In order to make remote working a viable option, you need to have the right infrastructure in place. While staff may have been happy to put up with a quick fix in the short term, you’ll need a robust plan moving forward. This is where it’s worth exploring the advantages of employee engagement software, designed to connect with every employee, wherever they’re based.
Benefit #2: Your employees won’t be looking around for another job
Do you realise that the majority of your employees would jump ship, given the right opportunity? According to a study by Hayes, eight out of ten employees would consider leaving their job for the right offer.
When an employee leaves, the impact on a company is considerable. Not only does the organisation suffer an instant drop in productivity and knowledge levels, but it also leads to lowered morale across the team. Add on top of this the additional costs to recruit and train new staff, and you’re on a losing ticket. Employee engagement and retention are closely linked. A highly engaged employee feels a strong bond to the company’s overall mission and purpose, making them much less likely to be tempted by another offer.
The Post-Covid Perspective: In the early days of the pandemic, the main focus for employees was how to ride out the storm and retain their roles at work. However, with lockdown coming to an end, the outlook is changing. Now, companies will have to work harder to promote employee engagement and motivation in the face of the ‘new normal’.
The risk of employee turnover rate increasing is high if employers ignore the changing needs of their staff. Many workers will resist an enforced return to the office and start looking around at competitors offering flexible working arrangements and other benefits. Now is the time to revisit your employee engagement strategy and make sure it’s meeting the changing requirements of your staff.
Benefit #3: Your employees won’t be at risk of burnout
Burnout is a relatively new term, but it’s a problem that has been around for a long time. It refers to the state when employees reach their limit. They feel exhausted on many levels; physically, mentally and emotionally. Whether your employees feel just one of these types of exhaustion, or all three at once, the outcome is often the same. They’ll be demotivated, less productive and more likely to leave.
How to avoid the dreaded burnout? Put in place employee engagement initiatives that tackle stress and overload. By ensuring employees are fully informed about their objectives, providing adequate training and promoting a healthy work-life balance, you’ll be helping staff to keep on top of their roles. The benefits of employee engagement for employees are as numerous as the benefits for their employers. It’s a win-win situation all around.
The Post-Covid Perspective: Burnout really became an issue during the pandemic. Bloomberg research revealed that people were working on average three more hours when working from home. By early April, 45% of workers said they were burned out. After a week of virtual meetings, many remote workers struggled to turn off from work and felt emotionally exhausted.
Companies need to explore ways to increase employee engagement for remote workers and help them recover that work-life balance. The first step is to make sure you know when things are going awry. Conducting a regular employee engagement survey can help you keep on top of employee issues before they become terminal.
Benefit #4: Your employees come up with new ideas
There’s nothing better for a company than a workforce that actively contributes to the bigger picture. When it comes to employee engagement, the benefits to the organisation couldn’t be greater. One of your key employee engagement objectives should be to encourage this kind of proactive involvement.
Highly engaged employees will continuously come up with new ideas that build the company’s reputation and profitability. To do this, they need to be fully informed as to the organisation’s overall strategy. This is one of the critical drivers of employee engagement, as employees who can see beyond their personal contribution will be motivated to deliver above and beyond.
The Post-Covid Perspective: While companies struggled to keep on top of the daily crisis, innovation was largely put on hold. There was no time to explore business-changing ideas when the very foundations of the company were under threat. However, the crisis is passing and now is the time to start widening our thinking once again.
The best way to encourage employee innovation is to provide them with a platform. This is where an employee app will help you push out your initiative. It will connect seamlessly with remote and office-based workers, making sure everyone is given a chance to speak out. The app will effortlessly capture ideas, promoting that all-important ethos of innovation and improvement.
Benefit #5: You’ll enjoy a positive company culture
It may not be as enticing as soaring profit margins, but a strong, positive company culture is an immeasurable asset to an organisation. With the focus now on mental health, it’s more important than ever to ensure you’re creating a healthy work culture that puts its employees first.
A good work culture is one of the crucial benefits of employee engagement. At the heart of every positive culture is a sense of belonging. When staff feel part of the organisation, rather than outsiders looking in, engagement levels instantly take an upward trajectory. The key to this is two-way communication, ensuring that the employee voice is encouraged and acted upon. The results of a strong company culture are impressive, affecting employee motivation and productivity and improving the customer experience.
The Post-Covid Perspective: With so many employees working remotely, it’s no surprise that many felt distanced and isolated from their organisations during the pandemic. In fact, according to the Harvard Business Review, 75% felt more socially isolated. Now is the time to bring employees back into the fold and get the company culture working its magic once again.
When you tackle a widely dispersed workforce, it’s key to ensure that your culture-positive messages reach every employee. You don’t want this vital messaging to be a hit and miss affair. An employee engagement app will assist with this, improving your reach and making communication more reliable. It offers social spaces where employees can meet, chat and share ideas, promoting a healthy company culture almost effortlessly.
What are the other benefits of employee engagement? They are almost too numerous to mention. Employee engagement has far-reaching benefits that affect virtually every level of business. From customer satisfaction to improved efficiency, better health and safety performance and reduced absenteeism, it’s a true game-changer. And in this post-Covid world, where the future remains uncertain, and employees are struggling to find their feet again, organisations would do well to make employee engagement one of their top priorities.