Three Keys to Drive Engagement & Retention for Your Hybrid Workforce

Three Keys to Drive Engagement & Retention for Your Hybrid Workforce

Employee engagement is the concept of understanding the nature of an employee’s relationship with their employer/organization both quantitatively and qualitatively. In other words, the level at which an employee cares about his or her workplace itself, as well as its mission.

While engagement has always been a challenge, it’s become even more so as the pandemic has changed the work environment to one in which employees work from home, some or all of the time. This new hybrid workforce has brought employee engagement and retention to the forefront of many HR departments and the goal is to continue seeing both, even when employees aren’t on-site every day.

So what’s the solution? Engagement drivers are where it’s at. These differ from organization to organization, but some key engagement drivers will get you started. Of course, you can customize them for your workforce and use them to keep employees engaged so they stick around.

Within each is some additional ideas that you can use as you create your engagement and retention plan. 

What are Engagement Drivers?

Before we delve into the specific engagement drivers you can use, let’s learn a little bit more about what they are. They are your top options for making an impact on how employees feel about the organization and their role within it. Your goal is to choose the drivers that will result in the highest engagement. For example, your drivers may have to do with how managers respond to feedback and how well they listen to their employees. In this case, your engagement driver is manager communication.

The best way to identify your engagement drivers is using surveys. The resulting data will help you see what matters to employees and how addressing those drivers will improve engagement and help retain employees.

Let’s talk about the top three keys for employee engagement and retention. 

Hire from day one

If you are just launching into the entrepreneurial world, you and your founding team likely have an endless list of tasks. Maybe your proposal is still being validated in the market, you barely have clients, and you're focused on staying afloat. This is the scenario of almost all startups when they go to market.

 

1. Future Outlook

People like to feel like they are part of something. That means that if they are excited about the future of the organization and where it’s going, your chances of employee engagement and retention are much higher. So how do you make that happen?

Communication

You won’t be able to get your employees on board for the future if you don’t clue them in. It falls on those in leadership roles to communicate the organization’s goals and visions. 

Shared Goals

While leadership may create the goals, the entire team plays a part in reaching them. For that reason, it’s vital to hold regular meetings to update everyone about the steps needed to reach the goal. 

Progress Updates

It’s not enough to share the goals and vision. It’s also important to keep employees apprised of progress toward the result. Sharing in successes is also necessary for engagement and employee retention. 

Employees and Their Role

While everyone works as a team, each employee should understand his or her specific role and duties. This can be achieved by scheduling one on one time to discuss it. 

2. Feeling Valued

Sure, getting paid what you’re worth is important, but a big factor in employee retention is feeling valued. Employees want to feel appreciated and like they are an asset to the organization. Here are some ways to do this effectively.

Employee Surveys

This is a simple way to gather feedback from your employees. The trick is to follow up appropriately based on the data you gather. Consider the data you received from employees. Keep in mind that employees may be more forthcoming if the surveys are anonymous. 

Recognition

No employee wants to work their hardest to get zero recognition in return. Employees are more engaged and likely to stay when they are recognized for their contributions. Praise goes a long way toward making employees feel valued. 

Flexibility and Trust

Micromanaging rarely goes well. Employees are hired due to experience and education so there needs to be some trust that they can perform their job without every action being scrutinized. In addition to autonomy, you can build engagement with flexible schedules and increased responsibility.

3. Career Growth and Development

Employees are more likely to stay with the organization when they feel like the company is invested in their careers. Providing opportunities to advance and grow their skills is a vital part of engagement and retention. Keep reading to find out how to do that.

Tuition Assistance

It’s expensive to get a higher education. However, many employees desire the chance to do so because it allows them to grow their careers. Investing in your employees by offering tuition assistance benefits them and the company. Your employees learn new and valuable skills that translate into the workplace as you strive toward the organization’s overall goals. 

Promotion Opportunities

The top performers in your company should be given the chance to advance to a higher ranked position, otherwise known as a promotion. If there isn’t a position currently open, offer employees challenges in their current role so they continue to feel engaged in the job and won’t be seeking a new opportunity elsewhere. 

Training and Mentoring

Offering support as employees gain skills and hone the ones they already have is a simple and valuable way to keep them engaged at work. These can be group opportunities or one on one chances to meet with someone who can provide training and encouragement as your employees grow in their careers within your company. 

The Takeaway

The new hybrid workplace environment indeed makes engagement a challenge. When employees are working at home, they don’t have the same opportunity to connect with the organization and its other employees, which can be detrimental to feeling valued and engaged.

While it may be a struggle, identifying engagement drivers can help you create a plan that keeps your employees engaged and provides them with the consistency and challenge that makes them want to stick around.

Remember, making your employees part of the plan is the most important step. They want to feel like they matter and that their input matters. Begin with that and work the rest around it.

 

 

About Author: Paula O Gorman is the marketing manager at Promotive, a marketing agency in Ireland. Paula uses some of these techniques to help with employee engagement and retention at Promotive.