Over recent years, we’ve seen an evolution in the employee feedback and engagement space. An evolution in not only how these surveys are administered now through real-time software but also senior leadership and CEOs buying into this as an important business metric. Happier more engaged employees make for a more productive workplace.
But engagement is a BIG metric and with limited and diminishing budgets, HR is often left with the huge task of trying to move the needle. We’ve put together 3 simple strategies that will leave your people feeling more connected to your business, that doesn’t require a huge investment of time or money.
1. Provide a roadmap for success
First impressions count. You’ve done all the hard work in finding and attracting talent, don’t waste all that effort on a poor onboarding experience. Simply locking people in a room for 2 days and reading the manual to them is not only a very impersonal approach, but it’s also actually very resource intensive.
When anyone starts a new job, there is a natural level of enthusiasm and commitment. People are motivated, energised and ready to put their best foot forward. And now is the best time to communicate with them – while you have their attention.
Getting your CEO to put pen to paper in an open letter to your employees is a simple way to communicate their vision and goals directly with your people, set expectations from the start, and signpost a way to feeling fulfilled and engaged at work.
A Harvard Business Review survey reveals 58 per cent of people say they trust strangers more than their own boss. Think about that for a second – that is truly shocking.
So even if you aren’t in a position to get the CEO to write an open letter, try tasking some of your managers with the exercise. It’s a simple gesture that will go a long way to welcoming your new starters and also reminding current employees why they joined in the first place.
2. Initiate employee-led committees
HR teams are often under-resourced and under-funded. So when you’ve got everyone coming to the table with things they want, rather than say no, why not empower your people to do it?
Allowing your people to self-organise and drive their own initiatives can have a huge impact on engagement. The obvious example that comes to mind is the social club, but employees are beginning to set up committees outside social circles bringing other people in off the sidelines.
This could be in the form of professional networking groups, organising around an intense passion or interest in an emerging market or wellbeing. IBM’s Mindfulness program launched through an internal online community.
Think about it. If you are forced to participate in something you’re probably not going to be that motivated about it – in some cases, there may even be a feeling of resentment. However, employee-led communities stand a greater chance of success because if they are in the driver’s seat, they are going to place a higher emphasis on ensuring it is relevant, engaging and potentially fun! All HR need to do is give them the tools, guidance and permission to do it.
3. Start a mentor program
Over the last 6 months, we’ve received an increasing amount of client enquiries driven by a reactive response to a recent employee engagement survey. What’s been super interesting is that this isn’t in response to viewing mentoring as a remedy to another problem (although it’s good for that too), it’s been driven by people simply asking for it. People want mentoring – especially your largest segment of employees with 66% of millennials seeking an employee mentor.
It’s no surprise really. They’ve grown up now and as they move into leadership positions, they are keen to build their networks and develop their management skills across a number of disciplines – and they are well aware that having a mentor is key to your future success.
But while millennials make up a significant segment of your workforce – mentoring is something that is relevant for all. In the age of self-directed learning, people are waking up to the fact that if they aren’t developing themselves they are falling behind and if you as an employer don’t offer learning opportunities, they’ll depart and seek it elsewhere.
Setting up a mentor program your people will love is relatively easy and cheap and there is proven to be a direct correlation between meaningful mentoring and how engaged someone feels at work. That’s because when matched correctly, a mentor can not only provide practical workplace advice, they can help guide a mentee to a more fulfilling career path.
Making mentoring mainstream
By chaIf you’d like to discuss how we can help you build an inclusive approach to mentoring at your organisation, please contact us to set up a free demo of the platform.