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How to improve employee engagement in 2022

Businees Insights by Gemma Hogg

Gemma Hogg

As the world stumbles towards a Covid-19 recovery, experts warn of a surge of voluntary employee departures, dubbed the “Great Resignation”. To counteract the incoming wave of employee turnover, organisations, more than ever, need to focus on cultivating employee engagement.

Employee engagement represents the level of enthusiasm and connection employees feel towards their organisation. It’s a key indicator of the motivation employees feel about going above and beyond in their roles, and their level of trust and loyalty within the company. The evidence is clear. Engaged employees perform better, experience less burnout, and stay in organisations longer.

The three most important levers employers have at their disposal right now to boost their employees’ engagement are:

1. Connect what employees do to what

they care about

> Revise your organisation’s mission statement to connect and align with employee values.

> Show how an employee’s work is related to the organisation’s purpose. Employees have to see a connection between their day-to-day work and the organisation’s greater purpose.

> Encourage and fund employee engagement groups that represent diverse interests and goals. This team could centre on special team events/celebrations, or even wellness.

2. Try to make the work itself less

stressful and more enjoyable

> Offer and provide employees the flexibility to try new work tasks, so they can discover interests they have a natural affinity towards.

> Grant employees more autonomy. Autonomy is critical to fostering motivation.

> Boost employees’ sense of confidence. People tend to avoid work tasks they lack the confidence to complete; thus, confidence is important to encourage employees to initiate tasks.

3. Create ‘time affluence’

> Reward employees with time in addition to money. Rewarding employees with time (eg, extra time off) represents a direct route to increasing feelings of time affluence.

> Implement tools that discourage after-hours emails. Employees often report that their email inbox is the largest time drain, so using a tool that allows people to pause the inflow of emails after hours, can encourage employees to have more “off” time.

The world of work is constantly changing, and without the right people practices in place, it can negatively impact your bottom line. The reality is, we’re all human and exist outside of the workplace, so to engage employees, you have to recognise their holistic humanity and listen to their needs.

When we spend 40-plus hours a week working, every second counts. Refining your focus on employee engagement is the first step towards building a more “people-centred” and ultimately more productive and resilient workplace.

To reach your full potential, however, it pays to look beyond your own walls for the greatest tools and expertise available to you. BDO’s industry-leading accounting and people advisory teams help New Zealand businesses every year to better position themselves for greater success. To learn more about how our business advisory services can assist you further, contact our BDO Gisborne team today on 06 869 1400.

- Gemma is an HR consultant and employment specialist in BDO Gisborne’s People & Performance team.

  1. Bill Fotsch, United States says:

    Instead of this inward focus on employee engagement, you could partner with your employees to understand, drive and participate in serving customers profitably. This Forbes article provides more background on the partner concept: https://www.forbes.com/sites/fotschcase/2016/05/31/engage-your-employees-in-making-money/
    This Inc article shares research on hundreds of companies that show how partnering drives superior results: https://www.inc.com/bill-fotsch/a-key-strategy-to-double-your-profitable-growth.html