Employees want leadership
and honesty in a crisis
This week we’re looking at employee engagement as part of our #keeptheballrolling campaign.
Research suggests that globally 85% of employees are not fully engaged – so there’s plenty of room for improvement! And there are big differences regionally too. Only 10% of employees in Western Europe are fully engaged, compared to 33% of employees in the United States [Source: Gallup State of the Global Workplace 2017].
Employees are currently turning to their employers for advice as to how they stay safe, healthy and productive as they negotiate their way through the months ahead. How you, as an employer, treat your employees at this time will have a direct impact on their loyalty and engagement in the future.
Covid 19 is forcing businesses and employees to change the way they work and communicate with each other, and the messages may be very different depending on the business. From frontline key workers, looking for clear guidance on service delivery, while feeling increasingly anxious about their health, to remote workers feeling isolated from their teams and struggling daily with the technology needed to keep working, staff communication needs to be fluid and responsive.
The crisis we are all currently working through, calls for a step-up in employee engagement and internal communications in order to reassure, hear, guide and motivate employees. Engagement strengthens shared cultures, purpose and values and supports the wellbeing and productivity of individual employees and the organisation as a whole.
What is employee engagement?
Employee engagement is all about creating and communicating a culture, and working conditions for employees to give their best and feel good about it.
Whether you are sharing brand values, teaching new skills or introducing a call to action, the key is to cascade the message throughout the organisation, in the most exciting and creative way, encouraging employees to actively engage.
Working within brand guidelines, staff engagement campaigns can be delivered through a variety of different channels:
- Internal communications and employee engagement tool kit
- Digital campaigns
- Videos and infographics
- Company website posts
- Dedicated intranets and microsites
- Phone/video conferences and webinars
- Printed collateral like posters and postcards
- Promotional merchandise
Why is employee engagement so important?
Motivating and retaining/attracting talent: by being seen, communicating and celebrating core brand values, culture and goals – employees better understand their role in the organisation and feel valued as team members. Happy, fulfilled and motivated employees are your most powerful brand ambassadors.
Leadership: whether you are communicating a new business plan or cascading a change programme, launching a new product or updating staff on how Covid 19 is impacting the organisation, employees want to know about key decisions and how they might impact on them.
Listening: employee engagement is a two-way communication process, and it’s essential to create regular and constructive feedback channels through employee surveys, suggestions and reviews.
Training and development: people recognition, career development and training are very tangible ways of encouraging job satisfaction and employee engagement, clearly demonstrating the value that an organisation places on its staff.
Productivity: There are direct correlations between higher employee engagement, job satisfaction and increased productivity. According to Gallup, “team members with higher engagement produce substantially better outcomes, treat customers better and attract new ones, and are more likely to remain with their organization than those who are less engaged.”
Some employee engagement tips
- Think about how your employees are feeling right now and what they want to hear about from you: what steps you are taking to support them and, if you know, what the plans are for the future. Think about this as an opportunity to help reinforce your brand values as an employer
- Consider what campaigns and channels have worked best in the past, and how you can replicate these most effectively now. For example, if your intranet works well in sharing examples of best practice, consider sharing and celebrating new success stories
- Get your TOV right. Be honest, natural and avoid corporate jargon, but don’t abandon your professionalism and established ‘brand’ tone of voice
- Demonstrate employer brand values through your actions, whether it’s celebrating a co-worker’s birthday with a delivered cake, launching online yoga classes to help improve wellbeing or recognising employees’ volunteering with a ‘heroes’ campaign
Remember to evaluate and measure your internal communications and campaigns, as employee engagement will change as situations evolve.
We hope you have found our post useful. Do follow us on our website and social accounts, we will be back next week with our thoughts on thought leadership communications. In the meantime, to see more employee engagement projects visit our services page.
Do you need help with an employee engagement project?
We’re always happy to talk, so do get in touch to find out how you can achieve maximum impact and success for your project.