The rise of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 brought down the economies of countries and changed the way businesses operate. Many companies shut down and those that continue to operate run at limited capacity.
Employees working in traditional office spaces had to adjust to the new normal of working from home (WFH), or remote working, or hybrid working arrangements. The new setup posed a challenge to business owners. You should have had the perfect work environment to improve employees’ productivity and achieve the company’s goals.
Application of the right employee engagement strategies will help you reach your 2022 target.
The Impact of the Remote Workforce
The hybrid working arrangement is a thing of the future that was fast-forwarded to today. The advancement in technology will make this happen and the pandemic facilitated the implementation.
According to a Standford study, working from home resulted in a 13 % boost in productivity, for 16,000 workers over 9 months. This improvement in performance was due to more calls per minute thanks to a quieter, more comfortable working environment, as well as working more minutes per shift due to fewer breaks and sick days.
This study also reported increased job satisfaction, and attrition rates were reduced by half.
Just because productivity is up right now, does not guarantee that it will remain so. According to the NYT article, in some companies employees are having difficult times with social engagement. Employee mental health will begin to impede productivity over time, lowering employee satisfaction.
Here are some of the most widely used and effective engagement strategies to help you keep your employees motivated.
Recognizing Top Performers and Rewarding Whatever the Distance
Recognition of your top performers is a great tool in employee engagement. Employees would love to receive credit for their hard work and accomplishments. This token of appreciation will boost their morale and motivate them to work harder.
Work with them in designing a reward system that is within budget. Consider personalized printed t-shirts, hoodies, backpacks, caps, and other items as you veer away from financial rewards.
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During pre-COVID, life at work and at the office was different. Only a few employees have the opportunity to work at home and it is on a strict schedule. The thin line separating work time and family time was crossed when you WFH.
No one knows when the pandemic will end and WFH is here to stay, perhaps extending even after COVID. Employers need to consider this situation so their employees can produce quality work. That said, a good family-friendly work environment is one of the biggest employee engagement trends in 2022. By slowing down on company policies and giving way to family issues, your employees will feel less pressure in handling their work, making them productive.
According to research conducted by the International Centre for Work Family at IESE Business School, people who work in family-friendly environments perform up to 19% better than those who do not.
Here are some ways companies can create a more family-friendly workplace moving forward.
Flexibility at work
Turning off "always-on" a culture
Improving parental leave policy
Encouragement of Personal Productivity Rather than Routine
Productivity was usually measured by comparing company standards with an employee’s output and a team’s production, but COVID changed that. Businesses pivoted their services to WFH and productivity was measured on a personal basis rather than company routines.
For a productive 2022, employers should look at productivity more flexibly and leave the productivity trackers and routines behind. Allow your employees to do the task their way and measure correctness and the amount of time it takes to complete the assignment.
You’ll have productive employees who’ll improve your company’s income.
Some of these are:
Let them pick their own daily schedule, that’s their productive time.
Minimize meetings or calls which will distract them.
Set realistic deadlines.
Allow regular breaks to maintain focus.
Developing Internal Communication Strategy
Effective workplace communication is now more important than ever. As more businesses joined in long-term remote work, it becomes clear that corporate work conditions will not return to pre-pandemic norms.
While remote work has its advantages, it has also ended up causing some employees to feel disconnected from their jobs and their employers. According to one study, 55 percent of people in the US workforce plan to look for a new job in the next 12 months. This creates a necessity to refocus attention on employee engagement and, as a result, internal communications.
An effective internal communication strategy will help them stay connected and updated about management instructions all working towards the success of your company.
Evaluate your existing internal communication strategy. It might be outmoded and needs a revamp. There are virtual platforms to get connected, such as Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, and Basecamp.
Analyze roadblocks and management concerns. It could be about a lack of internal communication in the organization or the internal communication tools are not working.
Make communication a meaningful conversation. Listen to your employees, let them talk about anything in their work life. They will look to company leaders once the communication is started. A relationship is established that is mutually beneficial to both your interests.
Today, employees have to WFH and employers have to provide their needs to keep them happy and more involved. By developing an employee engagement strategy, employers can get the most from their employees.
Engaged employees are passionate about their job and willing to go the extra mile to complete their tasks. Their drive and commitment can help the company grow.
The success or failure of an employee engagement strategy lies in the hands of the employer.
Author Bio: This article is written by our marketing team at HR Cloud. HR Cloud is a leading provider of HR solutions, including recruiting, onboarding, employee engagement, and intranet software. Our aim is to help your company improve employee engagement, employee productivity, and to save you valuable time!