We can’t say it enough: employee engagement is key to business success. Companies in the top quartile for employee engagement are 17% more productive and 21% more profitable than companies in the bottom quartile. However, only 36% of American employees are currently engaged with their workplaces, per Gallup. This disconnect is changing the face of our working culture and breaking the back of countless organizations.
A big swath of the responsibility for engaging teams falls upon the manager, who leads by example and can change the direction of their workforce. The manager can hardly put their ideas into practice, though, without the help of their Human Resources team.
When it comes to employee engagement, management focuses on action, while HR teams focus on enablement.
While your HR division likely isn’t in charge of conducting performance reviews and setting long-term goals, they are in charge of making it easier for the office at large to carry them out. This enablement comes in two forms:
THE TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Whether you’re a taxi driver or a software engineer, our ever-growing digital landscape is vital to day-to-day operations. This has become even more apparent following the COVID-19 pandemic, which pushed millions of workers all over the world to online-only capabilities. This cost organizations everywhere productivity and engagement – but it didn’t have to.
Thanks in part to that same pandemic, the usage of HR software skyrocketed and is now shaping up to be the future of work. According to business analytics platform CB Insights, HR software is projected to become a $43 billion dollar industry by 2026. More and more top level organizations are adopting it every day, which is why it should be HR teams’ #1 priority. The question has shifted from “Should we invest in HR software?” to “Which software should we choose?”
The platform you choose should, first and foremost, appeal to your employees as much as – or more than – management. We’re here to master employee engagement, and certain types of HR software can do just that.
One of the biggest drivers of employee engagement is recognition & rewards, which is a growing specialty of online platforms. Some solutions include recognition features like high fives and badges, and some, like Divvy, are full rewards programs dedicated to giving back to your best and brightest team members. Many of these programs are fully customizable, letting teams decide what they want, between gift cards, events, and bonuses.
Employee profiles are another essential part of the perfect HR software. Giving each worker their own profile on their platform’s intranet is a way to emulate a social media site, right down to bios and likes. The difference is that this social media isn’t a distraction from work – the distraction IS work! Having a social workplace community like this is especially helpful for remote and hybrid team members who might feel left out of the company’s core culture.
The final online path to employee engagement is through effective performance management. While more indirect, giving your management team tools to master exercises like goal setting and one-on-one meetings boosts employee engagement by, well, simply making life easier for everyone. With a better system for setting goals and conducting performance reviews, your team will be able to tell you’ve invested in their well-being.
A WINNING CULTURE
A great culture creates quantifiable business success. Per Forbes, companies whose workers identified their organizational culture as “strong” saw 4x the revenue growth than companies on the opposite end of the spectrum. But… how DO you boost culture?
Well, culture is perhaps the most intangible aspect of an organization’s success. It can’t be captured on a spreadsheet or reported on a graph, it’s felt among employees and their feelings about their jobs. Therefore, you should start by satisfying your team – which is why we’ve been working on employee engagement!
The steps above are some of the most important types of employee engagement; adopting a social workplace community, committing to recognition, and making smart hybrid work decisions all represent long strides in the direction of a healthy culture. However, there are still more deliberate steps you should take.
DEIBA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Accessibility) is one of the most important. Diversity isn’t just about hiring minority groups, it’s about creating an environment of employees from all backgrounds with all kinds of points of view that have equal opportunity to succeed. There’s much more to discuss about DEIBA than can fit here (check out our E-book for more!), but we can certainly tell you why it’s crucial.
Companies in the top diversity quartile are 25 percent more likely to have above-average profits, while companies in the fourth quartile for both gender and ethnic diversity are 27 percent more likely to underperform on profitability. Companies with DEIBA programs also tend to see improved organizational health, global competitive advantage, increased productivity, better online reviews, easier hiring and retention, and a positive public image. Great DEIBA practices can lead to a complete and positive culture overhaul.
Per McLean & Co, 62% of organizations have added DEIBA as part of human resources’ role, which is trending upwards. Managers abide by DEIBA, while HR runs it behind the scenes. You just can’t miss out on it.
Another element that’s a little less worker-centric is creating a meaningful mission/vision statement for your organization. A mission statement tells people three things: why the business exists, what makes it different, and what its people stand for. When it resonates strongly with those who read it, it not only helps your company’s reputation, but acts as a positive influence for your employees.
Lastly, develop a culture of communication for your workplace. Between relationship-building, task delegation, and information sharing, efficient communication has to be present for a workforce to be engaged and productive.
As companies grow, the ties that bind colleagues can stretch and weaken with the size of their workforce, leading to disconnections between departments. Unless you’re a company large enough for a dedicated internal communications team, it’s likely to become HR’s responsibility to take charge.
Communicate news and events wherever your team spends the most time – and hey, if you’ve been following these steps, that should be your HR software or intranet. The platform may have a dedicated area for bulletin news, whether that info is an upcoming event, sales win, or even a colleague’s birthday.
Communication becomes even more pivotal for hybrid and remote workforces, since it dictates how they operate, what they prioritize and how fast they get things done. Capitalize on digital tools like Slack, Microsoft Teams, Discord and other messaging platforms while making sure everything’s centralized in one place to ensure your teams aren’t checking multiple inboxes. And hey, great news – some HR systems are integrated with Slack and Microsoft Teams, to truly close the loop on employee engagement.
We’re not done yet!
We’ve got plenty more resources on building the best workforce from the bottom to the top. Take a look at our e-book on Mastering the Employee Experience, or our analysis of Gallup’s 12 Elements of Employee Engagement. All of our resources can be found in our Library – check them out here! To see HelloTeam in action, click here — and to set up a meeting with us, go here!