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A lot of people think of employee engagement as employee happiness or employee satisfaction. This is not true. An employee might be happy, but he may not be working hard to help the company achieve its goals. An engaged employee is one who can relate himself to the organizational mission and vision. One who wholeheartedly works to help the company achieve its organizational goals and mission.
With all the other changes that the COVID-19 pandemic brought to the business world, the way managers and leaders now manage their employees has also changed.
Employee engagement strategies have also changed, and they are more employee-centric instead of organization-centric. Today, businesses value employees more than ever and are doing their best to engage them.
Here are five common employee engagement trends that businesses have adopted in the COVID-19 era.
These days, there is almost no job that cannot be done at home. Work-from-home became the new normal in the COVID-19 era and a lot of companies implemented this strategy (freelancing has also become an increasingly popular way of working).
The companies that embraced the new way of working were the ones that sustained their business. Businesses that did not introduce the work-from-home policy suffered immensely.
Most jobs don’t require employees to report to work every day. They can handle their responsibilities while sitting at home working on a flexible schedule.
With the pandemic still around us, businesses must be smart and go digital to keep their ship afloat.
A lot of companies now focus on employees’ work-life balance — an aspect that has been somewhat neglected until recently. Businesses now respect employees’ personal life and give them the much-needed time to spend with their loved ones. They are now relieved of work stress when they are at home or enjoying their time with family.
The pandemic caused a lot of mental stress to almost everyone around the world. Thus, businesses rethought their engagement strategies to support their employees who were living in a lockdown.
Today, even when working from home, employees are not expected to work 24/7 just because they are home. Their personal space is respected, and companies are now also taking care of monetary benefits to ensure that employees are provided with the financial support they need.
Business leaders and managers are now more understanding, empathetic, supportive, and kind. They do not expect their employees to work like machines and be available outside of work hours.
The COVID-19 pandemic taught the cruel world some compassion.
Businesses now focus on their employees’ wellbeing. They realize that companies can only achieve their goals and mission when their employees are driven and stay motivated.
Living in uncertain times has taught business leaders to understand their employees, connect with them personally, and build meaningful relationships with them. This strategy has helped them build a resilient, passionate, and emotionally-committed workforce to help take their business to another level — even during a crisis.
It is a known fact that hiring new talent costs more than retaining and reskilling your workforce. In times when companies are finding it hard to sustain and pay their employees on time, hiring new talent is the last thing that a business would want.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have shifted their focus more towards retooling and developing their current talent.
Not only does this help the company eliminate hiring costs, but it also helps build confidence in existing employees. They are now more focused on their work because they know that their company is investing in them and plans to keep them for a long time.
Companies now also give employees the leeway to work in a way that suits their needs. They are no more required to follow old, traditional ways of working and be micro-managed.
If a project is assigned to an employee, they are free to assign tasks and schedule work in a way that is most productive for them. Today, companies are more focused on outcomes rather than inputs (if yours isn’t, you should think about changing some things!).
Not only does this change encourage employees through giving them more autonomy, but it also boosts their confidence and morale, helps them grow personally and professionally, and ties their purpose in with the company’s vision. These employees are committed to helping the company succeed!
Businesses value their employees more than they did in the past. The pandemic has helped business leaders understand that employees — people — matter the most. People are the backbone of companies, and they are the ones who run the show.
If employees are demotivated and do not feel valued, the business will be unable to succeed.
Building employee engagement is all about making employees feel that they are heard, understood, and valued. In the COVID-19 era, many business leaders have taken steps to encourage employees to share what they feel, participate in important business decisions, and give their feedback regarding operations and other organizational matters.
When employees feel valued, they are motivated and work towards the organization’s goal and mission. They are dedicated and take every necessary step to make sure that the company benefits.
The coronavirus pandemic has undoubtedly changed the way business is done. From industry giants like PepsiCo and Nestle to SMEs like Research Prospect, companies are now more resilient, employee-focused, and flexible. They understand the business world’s challenges today, thus providing their employees with an environment where they can work to their maximum potential.
Strategies like these have helped businesses to increase their employee engagement and rebuild their business in these testing times.
The more companies focus on developing employee-centric engagement strategies, the more secure their futures will be.
Idrees Shafiq is a Content Marketing Manager at Cognizantt with diverse experience in the field of Digital Marketing. He has helped companies achieve their marketing goals through creative, well-researched content that follows the best SEO practices. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.