Aon Hewitts Global Employee Engagement Survey points out an interesting observation – the employee engagement index has risen globally in the last four years and almost half of the total increase occurred in just the last one year. The global employee engagement index rose from 62% to 65% despite a tight labor market in the US, economic uncertainty in Europe and other business challenges in other parts of the world. This of course, is a good news for organizations worldwide, re-iterating the fact, that engagement is not just an outcome of heavy pay packages. Employee engagement has brought organizational culture into the spotlight, and is a key competitive advantage.
The concept of engagement is often misled by beliefs that it is based on employee satisfaction or happiness alone. For an organization, to precisely gauge employee engagement, it will need to track the level of emotional investment of an employee towards the place of work.
Engaged employees are more likely to live the values of the organization and take pride in working when they feel connected to the organization. Moreover, with the millennials, about to become the largest generation in the workforce by 2020, there is definitely a need to transform the thought process on employee engagement.
Here is where it gets tricky. Employee engagement cannot be achieved by a mechanistic approach, which tries to extract discretionary effort by manipulating employees commitment and emotions. Employees see through such attempts quickly and can become cynical and disillusioned. Since millennials and the powerful megatrend of digitization go hand-in-hand, the ideal solution to meet the expectations of the new workforce will be Digitally Enabled Engagement.
Here are few ways to transform employee engagement by embracing digital tools, that will help boost employee productivity, morale, and uplift the organization –
- Mobile apps for official updates and enterprise-wide communication- It matters when important updates are communicated to employees directly. Communicating late or not communicating with employees directly can damage engagement. Digitizing this communication through mobile apps, which can be a real-time employee engagement platform for co-workers and leadership to share their opinions and feedback anonymously, will help employees feel heard at work and be part of the decision making process.
- Intuitive platform for creating supportive work environment – Its important to communicate clear goals and expectation to employees. Targets tied to larger organizational ambitions become more meaningful and effective. Let your employees know how their efforts are a contribution towards the strategic goals. Optimistic communication keeps employees informed and creates greater sense of worth. Intuitive platforms help in aligning performance management, 360o reviews, goal tracking and feedback for employee engagement.
- Automating opinion collection through open communication- Suggestion boxes and team meetings are by now considered orthodox ways to collect insights. Encourage open communication, to express ideas and perspectives through various web and mobile solutions available to help the organization improve employee engagement. Simplify feedback collection by setting up automated polls and analysis to identify areas that will most benefit from development investments.
- Gamification to drive behavior change- Gamification is one of the biggest catchphrases currently, making certain mundane activities enjoyable to drive behavior change, by applying game mechanics. Organizations have seen the impact of using game elements to engage employees, especially when it comes to e-learning and onboarding. An enterprise gamification platform can drive communication of corporate goals and objectives through web-based inductions and encourage quick completion of tasks by awarding badges.
Digitally aware companies have been consistent in their focus on innovative mechanisms that address Workplace Reimagination, from a futuristic point of view. Employee engagement can be radically improved with the use of multiple digital platforms, which aim at the collaborative reimagination of the engaged employees vision. If realized by organizations, mobile and digital tools have great potential to create an engaged workplace that caters to the needs and aspirations of the new workforce.