Why maintaining employee engagement is essential in a hybrid workforce
As remote and hybrid workforces are becoming a permanent fixture in a post-COVID-19 working world, organisations are now focusing on how to maintain maximum engagement with their workers.
As people begin working in new hybrid or flexible work arrangements, it’s vital that leaders focus on making employee engagement a priority. Employee engagement is a very important part of the employee experience and is defined as the relationship between an organisation and its employees.
Having an engaged team brings many benefits to an organisation. In fact, positive engagement with workers leads to greater productivity, increased revenue, and a lower turnover of staff. By contrast, according to a report by Gallup, a disengaged workforce can cost US businesses between $960 billion to $1.2 trillion a year.
The world of work has changed, and the challenge leaders face now is how to maintain connectivity and a sense of belonging with their highly skilled workers. Below, we provide some tips for leaders to maximise engagement with their remote and hybrid workers.
1. Regular communication
We know how beneficial it is for workers to communicate regularly with their colleagues, but it’s also important to have a regular communication plan between management and staff. Having regular catch-up meetings about the company’s news updates helps keep everyone in the loop and maintains engagement with workers.
In addition, scheduling regular team meetings is beneficial for everyone. It’s important that these meetings happen in real-time to allow leaders to see and gauge how their workers are coping. Workers can feel isolated working remotely so it’s crucial that leaders schedule regular video conferences. These meetings can help keep staff motivated and allow remote workers to collaborate and communicate with their colleagues.
2. Provide feedback on projects
When people are working remotely, they can easily feel left out of important conversations or advancement opportunities. One way to stop these issues from occurring is to maintain one-to-one meetings.
Scheduling regular one-to-one meetings give the manager an opportunity to engage with their worker to discuss their projects, deadlines and set out clear expectations about work. Regular performance feedback during these meetings ensures everyone knows what they are doing and can help a worker stay motivated and dedicated to their role.
3. Provide training
Providing training or upskilling opportunities is a vital part of any business and key to good employee engagement. In fact, well-trained, engaged employees translate into higher productivity, increased efficiency, and more innovation. Once a worker is performing well, leaders must provide their workers with the opportunity to continue to build on their skills.
As job roles evolve, leaders need their current workers to either upskill or reskill to accommodate these skill gaps. Luckily, there are plenty of ways for leaders to invest in reskilling their workers. Virtual programmes or classes are great options as they provide the flexibility for workers to learn new skills in their own time.
4. Recognition and reward
Appreciation and recognition can play an important role in employee engagement. Workers who feel valued and recognised show more commitment and dedication to their work. Leaders who introduce an employee rewards programme can increase motivation and drive worker productivity.
An easy way to establish rewards is by implementing key performance indicators and improvement solutions. There are many tools available now that allow leaders to track work performance and ensure that workers get the recognition they deserve.
5. Build resilience
With flexible or hybrid work environments, it’s important that leaders maintain team culture and help build resilience in the workplace. Over the last year and a half, many organisations have remotely onboarded their workers. Due to the strict pandemic guidelines, these workers never got to experience collaboration with their colleagues. As businesses move back into the office, workers will get an opportunity to meet in person.
For remote workers, it’s vital to get everyone to communicate with each other virtually. Regular check-ins and team events can help build everyone’s confidence and help workers thrive in a hybrid environment post-pandemic.
As mentioned above, employee engagement is vital and affects an organisation either positively or negatively. Regular communication, reviewing work performance, upskilling opportunities, and providing tools for resilience are all great ways for leaders to maintain employee engagement in a hybrid workforce. Leaders who focus on the above strategies can build a workforce that is enthusiastic, productive, and motivated to go the extra mile at work.