With employees forced to work from home due to the ongoing pandemic, keeping them engaged is more important than ever.
So, what should you do to boost employee engagement?
The good news is that there are no trade secrets.
For a company looking to reduce the turnover rate, the need of the hour is to focus on values that employees will look for in companies.
In this article, we explore values that can help a company become a favorite among job seekers and employees.
Here are six values that employees will look for in companies in 2022:
1. A culture of corporate social responsibility
Employees prefer companies who have a corporate giving program in place. Such a program is an initiative wherein companies contribute their money, time and resources to charity and non-profit organizations.
According to research, 63% of employees prefer working in companies that contribute their time and money to nonprofit organizations. Over the years, this number has seen an increase, as younger and emerging generations place more importance in social responsibility.
This statistic means that incorporating a corporate giving program can increase your chances of hiring the top talent. Getting your company involved with a community is an excellent tactic for boosting morale and enhancing employee engagement.
However, everything boils down to the type of corporate giving platform you choose. So, focus on these tips to find a corporate giving platform that allows employees to give back to society.
- Check whether the platform can manage both physical and online volunteering events
- Focus on the level of customer support it offers
- Verify if it allows customization
- Evaluate the social or community building features it provides
- Read online reviews
- Check the apps you can integrate with it
- Validate if it allows payroll giving
2. A workplace where employees voice gets heard
According to research, one third of employees think that their companies don't listen to their ideas for improvement. When employees feel that a company isn’t listening to their ideas and concerns, it can equate to lost talent and recruitment and retraining costs.
Employees who know their concerns, ideas and pain points are heard are more productive and engaged than others. Besides conducting periodic engagement or targeted pulse surveys, listening to employees shouldn't be a one-week or one-month affair.
When managers listen to their employees, they build a cohesive team. But when they ignore the concerns and ideas given by employees, it results in churn.
Companies that want to hire the top talent should focus on baking an open-door policy where every employee can voice their concern. Another great way to teach such a culture is to ask employees for ideas or suggestions.
Managers may receive impractical and unrealistic suggestions, but listening to them helps employees develop problem-solving skills. It could lead to practical and innovative suggestions in the future. More importantly, you're creating a culture where employees' opinion matters.
Even the smallest idea that's heard, appreciated or acted upon can prompt an employee to excel in their workplace and motivate them to keep contributing.
3. A culture that showcases employee appreciation in visible ways
According to research, 66% of employees quit or resign from a company where they feel unappreciated. When employees know their company values are appreciated and recognized, they feel their work gets valued.
This motivates and encourages employees to improve their performance and excel in their job.
Appreciation improves workplace morale, and it can create a rippling effect in the workplace.
An employee who feels appreciated is more likely to show appreciation to their coworkers and other team members.
The key to creating a model of appreciation is giving ongoing positive feedback. It could be a simple thank you or a small appreciation email or note for a special effort.
Apart from increasing employee engagement, showing employees appreciation can decrease employee turnover, improve team culture, increase employee retention, decrease stress, reduce absenteeism and result in higher customer loyalty and satisfaction scores.
If your organization doesn't prioritize employee recognition, you will miss out on your bottom line. Companies that practice recognition are more likely to improve stock prices, NPS scores and employee performance. A few ways to showcase employee recognition include:
- Micro recognition
- Informal recognition
- Formal recognition
The bottom line is that employee recognition is timely. Don't wait until the annual performance review to motivate employees. These traditional strategies no longer work. Also, when recognizing employees, tell them the reason why they’re receiving appreciation. Knowing the justification can motivate them further to excel in their workplace.
4. A workplace that takes care of employee wellbeing
The psychological wellbeing of an employee is equally important as physical wellbeing. Taking care of psychological wellbeing is essential to make employees feel cared for by their companies.
It's inherent in human nature that we excel and feel more comfortable when companies care for their wellbeing.
Companies that understand this aspect can give their employees a wholesome working experience by creating a happy and engaged workplace.
Apart from increasing employee engagement, promoting the well-being of employees reduces absenteeism and healthcare cost, improves employee productivity, enhances employee morale and results in attractive employer branding.
5. A workplace that offers well-designed retreats and offsites
An organization that values team-building activities for employees is often the first choice for top talent.
Company retreats matter the most because they bring people and teams together. When employees feel like they're a part of a team, they can help drive satisfaction and employee engagement. Building a personal and friendly relationship can help team members in developing a sense of trust. This can help in nurturing a culture where employees remain loyal to the companies they work with.
Interestingly, bringing employees together in a professional way can bring them closer at a personal level, too.
However, to create a workplace that offers offsites and retreats, ensure that your team building's activities align with the company's values, culture and virtue. This is important because, according to research, one-third of employees feel uncomfortable or embarrassed when they participate in team-building activities that a company fails to align to their core values.
Also, to make retreats and offsites unique for every employee, companies can focus on redefining the meaning of these team-building activities.
Instead of playing Secret Santa or other common games, companies organize fun-team building exercises like fencing, cooking or baking classes, yoga or Zumba sessions, or even organizing inter-department sports competitions.
Such activities help in team-building because employees have to understand and adapt to the work style of their team members.
Many companies are even taking advantage of technology, and their retreat activities involve theme-based online adventure games or music competitions.
So, focus on making your retreat a fun activity for everyone regardless of their designation. Inculcating such values can help you hire and retain the top talent in your industry.
6. A workplace that offers a hybrid working environment
With the COVID-19 pandemic looming worldwide and new variants creating havoc almost every other month, many employees are still apprehensive about physically joining the workplace.
Even though workplaces are ready to accept bringing back employees, the change has to occur in people's minds.
And, unless the change takes place, it would become difficult for companies to force employees to get back to work.
So, focus on bringing the best of both worlds and focus on implementing a hybrid workplace.
A hybrid workplace encourages high productivity, nurtures happy employees, reduces operational cost, creates a safe work environment and improves employee satisfaction.
According to one survey, 87% of people want to work from home, and 68% of employees prefer working in companies offering an option to work from home and on-site.
So make sure you conduct an employee survey to understand what your existing employees want. And, based on their feedback, focus on creating a work culture that offers your employees flexibility.
Smart employee engagement strategies that employees will value
Take a critical look at your company culture and value, identify opportunities to enhance your employee engagement to attract top employees.
Regardless of the strategy you create, remember that your business is a community for your team, managers and employees, and a community thrives only when everyone associated with it feels involved, included, trusted and appreciated.
The more you focus on employee engagement that aligns with your value, the higher your chances of hiring talent will be to make a difference in your bottom line.