The pandemic not only changed the way we work, it also made most of us question why we work. Quarantine and the implementation of WFH made it clear that the daily commute and 9-5 in a physical office wasn’t necessary to get work done. We also discovered the pleasures of being able to fit in a workout during our working day, and/or do our weekly grocery shop instead of using up time doing it on the weekend.
All this flexibility and freedom brought into sharp focus that the traditional model of working is redundant, and that there is newer, better way of working that ensures we are still as productive (if not more productive) than ever, while largely enhancing our wellbeing and sense of purpose.
Not only has this culture of flexible working—whether that means full-time WFH or the (preferred?) hybrid model—changed our lives, it’s had profound effects on recruitment. By now, we’ve all heard the term ‘The Great Resignation’, and we’re mostly a bit tired of it. However, employers cannot ignore the fact that employees and potential recruits have a lot more bargaining power than before. With the vast majority of companies now offering flexible working in one form or another, you simply cannot afford not to follow suit.
Of course, this ‘great resignation’ goes a lot deeper than that. Employees (particularly Gen Z) are looking to get much more out of their jobs than a salary; they want to work for companies that care, whether it be about societal issues, the planet and their own workplace wellbeing. They need to feel that the company they work for has purpose and meaning, and they want to feel engaged in that purpose and meaning.
Why is engagement important?
The level of engagement felt by an individual towards their place of work has a huge impact on the organisation, as well as the employee’s happiness. An increase in the engagement levels in an organisation has a direct and proven positive impact throughout it.
- Improves staff retention
- Increases productivity
- Improves client delight
- Increases organisation value
- Reduces thefts & accidents
- Supports the leader
- Increases profitability
- Reduces sickness
- Helps attract talent
Think of a time when engagement was good in your organisation—Why was this? Then think of a time when engagement was poor—What were the symptoms?
Evolve believes there are four enablers of employee engagement:
1. Visible, empowering leadership—Providing a strong, strategic narrative about the organisation, i.e., where it’s come from and where it’s going.
2. Engaging managers—Focussing on people and giving them the scope to contribute and grow; treating people as individual.
3. Organisational integrity—You live and breathe your values (there is no “say”/“do” gap); there are rewards and consequences.
4. Employee voice—By encouraging challenging views, employees feel seen as central to the company’s solutions and directions.
A good exercise is to consider the above four within your company, rate them on a scale of 1 to 10, and decide from these where to focus in order to improve engagement.
- Want to further understand how to create better team engagement? Evolve’s Team Development Days & Programmes are what you’re looking for.