Since the height of the 2020 pandemic, employers and human resources (HR) managers globally have struggled to maintain employee engagement. More employees are taking advantage of the flexibility and convenience of remote work, and managers must devise strategies to ensure their employees’ peak performance while promoting their well-being.
Companies are also facing a rise in “quiet quitting“—a workplace phenomenon where unsatisfied employees are doing the bare minimum while still showing up, without a clear intention to commit long-term to the company. The declining levels of employee engagement directly impact productivity levels, retention levels, revenue and the business’s overall health.
How can employers and human resources departments ensure their employees are performing at their best at work? This article explores the significance of employee engagement and offers four tips companies can use to improve and maintain their overall employee engagement levels.
What is employee engagement?
“Employee engagement” refers to the degree workers are enthusiastic about, dedicated to and committed to their jobs. Employees who are engaged are more dedicated to their work and the company and will show signs of:
- Aligning with the organisation’s vision
- Being productive and performing at higher levels
- Valuing the quality of their work
- Showing up to work with a positive attitude
- Taking ownership of their work and work-related activities
- Embracing and adapting effectively to criticism and feedback
- Innovating and sharing new ideas with their peers, bosses and management.
A company’s success often hinges on the enthusiasm of its workers. When workers don’t believe their employer cares about them, they lose motivation to get their work done and to do a good job. Companies mindful of employee engagement structure their working processes to increase employee well-being and satisfaction.
Location, culture and individual traits are just some factors that can affect employee engagement. Since these factors are fluid and subject to change over time, measuring employee engagement is critical for handling evolving employee requirements and expectations.
Human resources managers need to know more about the factors affecting employee engagement to manage their well-being and satisfaction better. Companies must look beyond basic compensation to the higher-level aspects of an employee’s career if they want to increase these metrics.
7 HR tips to boost employee engagement
The secret to effective engagement for managers or business owners is to show employees that they genuinely care about them. Beyond this, it is vital for all stakeholders within a company to collaborate with its human resources department to develop and implement a holistic strategy that encompasses the best practices for engaging employees in the 21st-century workplace.
Tip #1: Understand employee expectations
Millennials and Generation Z employees don’t expect the same things from their employers as employees did in the past. Employees engage best when they feel secure in their relationships and understand their role within the company. Understanding their ideas of work-life balance, company culture, benefits and career development will help a company create a culture conducive to employee engagement and long-term success.
HR teams can use the interview process to gauge whether new employees will fit the company’s culture well. Closely monitoring employees during and after the onboarding process ensures that employees have the tools, support and training they need to perform at their best. Scheduling weekly or bi-weekly check-ins with employees will help HR track changes in employee expectations and ensure that employees are satisfied with their positions.
Tip #2: Align employee expectations with company goals
What are the company’s revenue, production, profit, customer service or employee retention goals? How are company goals and objectives related to each employee’s job responsibilities?
Setting achievable goals is vital for achieving an organisation’s long-term objectives and aligning employees with these goals can significantly increase employee engagement. When staff members feel like they are a part of something bigger than themselves, they often feel pride in the organisation and are more motivated to go above and beyond expectations.
HR teams should foster a healthy sense of competition and achievement where employees are driven to provide more value and contribute to the company’s overall success. Initiatives that can achieve these aims include:
- Reward and recognition programmes focusing on individual and group-level performance in line with the company’s strategic objectives
- Recognition of individuals and groups as part of the broader organisation through inclusion in annual reports, high-profile events and social media announcement
- Curating healthy feedback loops and structured sessions for sharing criticism and actionable strategies for employee improvement
The goal is to ensure employees are challenged to be personally and professionally accountable for their work and encouraged to drive organisational performance by operating as part of a collective team.
Tip #3: Measure and report on employee engagement
Organisations can drastically increase employee engagement by developing systems to track employee engagement and sharing this information with employees in an actionable way. HR teams can use employee engagement survey results to confirm or challenge perceptions, develop a deeper understanding of engagement issues and identify key action areas. They can also:
- Provide clear HR metrics and KPIs for measuring the performance of the team
- Monitor progress regularly, using formal dashboards and informal monitoring to report on the teams’ health
- Set out the responsibilities of all parties to improve performance and use these as the basis for frequent and honest communication
By ensuring that every team member can see clearly how their work supports both the organisation’s performance and that of the team’s, HR can provide a unifying purpose that maintains employee engagement sustainably.
Tip #4 Tailor your staffing process
Ultimately, the quality of a company’s staffing and recruitment processes impacts its attractiveness to potential employees and shapes their experience once they are employed. Top candidates research company culture before applying and will only accept positions from companies that provide positive onboarding experiences.
If an organisation’s HR team or staffing agency struggles to attract, source and screen candidates effectively, they will often grapple with low employee engagement rates and a high staff turnover. The most seamless way of increasing the quality of a company’s hires is by tailoring the staffing process for skill and cultural fit. If there are not enough resources, time or expertise to handle this in-house – the next best option is outsourced human resources solutions.
Experienced HR specialists like MASA tap into extensive candidate networks to supply companies with the best-fitting candidates for the job. Candidates undergo rigorous screening and vetting to ensure a high-quality match with the job. MASA also leverages a countrywide network of offices and a global candidate network that provides location-based knowledge and expertise to clients.
Outsourced human resources services will also match the company’s unique needs, which can be a more cost-effective, long-term solution than in-house hiring efforts. This means providing value in other critical functions such as payroll, HR administration and employee training programs or focusing on short-term projects to help businesses meet growth objectives.
Outsourced human resources solutions help employees focus on their core competencies, which improves employee productivity and job satisfaction. Employees can engage deeply and thrive when they no longer have to worry about day-to-day challenges and tedious HR-related tasks.
Elevate your engagement with Human Resources
There are multiple ways to manage and increase employee engagement levels within any organisation. But if you want to holistically improve your employee engagement levels and job satisfaction, there’s no better way than outsourcing the HR function a specialist agency like MASA.
Our team has four decades of experience working with multinational, blue-chip corporations in various industries. We provide comprehensive outsourced human resources solutions to make both HR and business processes run more smoothly, create a better workforce experience and potentially increase employee engagement.
Visit our website to learn more and contact us today to connect with a leading outsourced human resources service provider in South Africa.