Businesses, while owned by the people at the top, are run by the employees. This makes them a vital part of the machinery that is a business. Employee engagement is the qualitative and quantitative metric that measures the nature of the relationship between the employees and the organization. It describes how well employees are integrated with the operations, how enthusiastic they are about working for the business and how committed they are.
A survey conducted by Gallup in 2018 found that since 2009, engagement levels are steadily increasing and stood at 34% in the year 2018, while the actively disengaged workforce has shrunken down to 13%, the lowest since 2000. While this may seem promising, 2/3rd of the employees still do not find themselves to be “engaged’. A disengaged workforce can cost companies anywhere from $450 to $550 billion every year.
A skilled HR department has the potential to re-engage the workforce with initiatives that are well structured, well thought out, and able to deliver results. Here are 7 Human Resource Skills that Improve Employee Engagement and can save your business a lot of time and resources.
Improving the Hiring Process
The very first interaction that any potential employee has with an organization is during the hiring process. Making this process as efficient and easy for the candidates can go a long way in making sure that your candidates get a good impression of the company and increase their willingness to work harder if selected. In this step, your HR department’s keen attention to detail will be put to use.
Drafting a clear and precise job description so that only the most qualified candidates apply will reduce the number of candidates who are not the right fit for the job. A good HR department should collaborate with the direct supervisor of the position in question and draft a job description that clearly details the expectations, the required qualifications and other necessities. It should also include a comprehensive description of the work environment that your organisation operates in to attract candidates with similar ideals.
Similar steps should be followed for the interview stage of your hiring process. A streamlined interview that also assesses candidates in an effective manner can save your and the candidates’ time. Lastly, having the direct supervisor involved in the hiring process can help you shortlist the most suited candidates as their input could prove to be vital for the subtle nuances a position might require.
Improving the onboarding process
Your interview process has gone swimmingly. You’ve hired a candidate who is perfect for the job and now it is time for their induction. A new employee’s integration into the company is the second interaction that an employee experiences and if not done right, can make the employee feel disengaged or disinterested. A good onboarding experience will make your new hires excited about working with you and confirm to them that they have made the right decision of working for your organization.
Your HR department’s skills in iteration would come in use here. Keep your communication lines open, help them set up their work and send them drafts or other documents which further outline the type of culture they can expect and are expected to adhere to. Without any guidance at the beginning of their tenure can make them feel not welcome and unsure of their role in the organization.
A recruitment management software helps employers to align the candidates in a way that there is no chance of errors or misscommunication.
Encouraging them to reach out in case of any queries cements their belief that they are a valued member of the company. Some companies even go on to prepare a welcoming kit for their new employees which instills a sense of unity in them, making them comfortable and more willing to work harder for your organization.
It is not just the new hires that require a good, open communication line with their supervisors. Every employee that puts in their effort to help carry out a business’ operations and help it grow expects open and honest communication with the management. Leveraging your HR department’s communication skills can help. Having authentic communication with the workforce builds trust and rapport. It gives them a sense of belonging and helps them see how their role is essential to the organization.
Lack of communication leads to deterioration as it can be a thriving ground for rumours to spread and discontentment to brew. When employees feel that they are actively heard by the management, they are much less likely to jump ship and will stay with the company in times of crisis.
Recognise and reward good work
One of the many things that may make employees feel disengaged is a lack of recognition of their work. They might toil away and work long hours in the beginning but will certainly cease to do so if their efforts go unrecognized. Having a simple habit of publicly recognising and rewarding employees who go the extra mile for your company will make them feel appreciated and seen. The same results are achieved by many companies which incentivize employees to work harder through rewards and other perks or benefits. This can be implemented with electronic means and digital channels which can monitor and record an employee’s work performance and inform the management about the same. At the end of the day, everyone likes being appreciated for the hard work that they put in.
Improve employee well being
Studies show that the well-being and engagement of employees are closely linked with one another. In case there is a high engagement of employees but no well-being policies of the same proportion, burnout for your workforce will be inevitable. Taking steps to create a healthy work environment that supports and cares for both the physical and mental wellbeing of employees can go a long way in making employees feel that they are essential and are important for the company. You can gauge how satisfied your employees are with the current status of their wellbeing through employee surveys and act accordingly.
Simple steps include introducing reformed Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), conducting seminars and workshops about the importance of mental health and some companies even incentivise their workforce to stay physically fit through perks such as better healthcare policies. If your organisation requires long hours of work, make sure that the working space provided to employees caters to their needs and makes sure they are well adjusted and equipped with amenities necessary for them to carry out their work.
If your company operates under traditional compensation structures consisting of salaries and bonuses, you might need to rethink and restructure. Your HR department is a house of innovation that can go beyond these typical structures and invent new ways to keep your employees happy. Well compensated employees are much more likely to stay engaged with your company and work harder. Compensation does not only mean bonuses.
It can also mean perks, employee benefits or simply more flexibility. Having flexible vacation days shows your employees that you value a balanced work-life and make employees feel more valued. Creativity in this area can make your company stand out from the competition and make your employees less likely to leave for other jobs.
No employee wants to be stuck at a dead-end job. 80% of the employees have reported that they will quit their current jobs for better opportunities. A good HR department will help your employees keep developing and move on an upward trajectory within your organisation. These growth opportunities are crucial to every employee, especially the newer generations and they will not hesitate to leave their current jobs in order to pursue better opportunities.
Helping your employees develop is an important way of keeping them engaged and is beneficial to everyone as this can make your employee satisfied with their professional life and in turn, make them more skilled for your company. Development can be enabled through various forms such as workshops, mentorships, career coaching, and cross-training. However, not all of these would work out for a workforce and you need to figure out what would work best for your particular case. Employees will remain motivated, engaged, and will want to work harder for your company and continue developing their personal skills.
Keeping your employees engaged is crucial for the success of your business. Enthusiastic workers accomplish more tasks in less time and even take the business in newer directions you might not have thought of. This engagement is possible only when your employees feel valued, have open communication, and know that they are not stuck at a dead-end job. To gauge the best practices to adopt for increasing engagement, employee surveys would be your best bet. Make sure you conduct these surveys on a regular basis and actually work with the data thus collected.