The past three years have been a heck of a ride. A global pandemic, governments in disarray, and now soaring prices for household bills and everyday essentials – who knows what will come next.
The resulting stress and anxiety is translating into the workplace, and 66% of managers have reported issues such as rising absenteeism and a lack of engagement among staff. While employee priorities have changed drastically, many organisations haven’t kept up with what now drives their people to want to engage.
Organisations need to actively listen to their staff and adapt to their changing needs. But how can you help your people thrive in an ever-changing workplace? In this article, we share four ways to build higher levels of employee engagement in 2023.
1. Improve your wellbeing strategy
Organisations are increasingly asking employees to do more with the same, or even less. This is especially true where the current war for talent has led to an increase in workload and unfilled gaps in teams. Unsurprisingly, many employees are feeling overwhelmed and disengaged.
The pandemic forced many employers to give staff a taste of a better work-life balance, accelerating a desire to reset what the normal working day looks like – and to allow for more opportunities to ‘live’ outside of office hours. But that remains a challenge, and wellbeing will be impacted if staff are having to take on additional responsibilities and work longer hours.
Employers must find new and creative ways to revamp their wellbeing strategies, to better address the issues workers of today are facing and to introduce more efficient and flexible ways of working. Read our article, ‘Easy initiatives you can implement to support employee wellbeing’ for some ideas on how your organisation can do this.
2. Humanise leadership
The relationship leadership has with teams and individuals is pivotal in business success. Leaders have a huge impact on their organisations, and those built with mutual respect, trust, and understanding are better at collaborating to face challenges – both internally and externally.
The emotional toll from the pandemic and forced remote working has left employees wanting more humanised and dependable leadership. They now want a leader who provides a reassuring voice, shows care towards their wellbeing, and is someone that they can be their true selves around.
Recent research has found that empathy is the most important leadership skill to be able to demonstrate, so it’s vital leaders become more approachable as the new year evolves – no matter the challenges it throws at us.
Show employees they’re valued and appreciated
Sometimes, employers can focus too much on the importance of retaining a productive culture, overlooking the value of recognising and appreciating employees. But, as the competition for talent increases, it’s becoming even more important to show you value your staff.
People now want to feel their opinion and work is recognised and appreciated. Having meaning and fulfilment in their role leads to greater job satisfaction, and makes them less likely to look for work elsewhere.
In 2023, consider taking appreciation for staff beyond in-house recognition – through social media, for example, where it’s more public-facing. Give employees rewards that are career-based, make sure work anniversaries don’t go unnoticed, and take staff out for a coffee or lunch during office hours to show them they have your ear.
It’s moments that matter like this that will help create a workplace people choose to engage with.
Interesting and challenging work
This one’s a top motivator for staff – and many prefer a level of difficulty in their role to work that’s easy and straightforward. But it’s a balancing act. If work becomes too challenging, where resource and skill are uneven, this can reduce motivation – leading to lower interest and enthusiasm, and poor morale.
One way to strike that balance is by introducing professional development opportunities. Think about training courses an employee could take, book recommendations, or online resources they can look at. Find ways to challenge their thinking and help them build on their skill base.
Another way to shake things up is by providing opportunities for employees to work in other areas of the business that slightly differ from their contracted role. For example, helping organise a team event, or sitting in on another department’s team meeting that they may find valuable. Your organisation could even do something as simple as encouraging a change of scenery – whether that’s remote working, a different office location, or the opportunity to work a different shift schedule.
It’s important to adapt quickly to keep your employees engaged if you want to retain them for the year ahead. At WorkBuzz, we believe that the best way to do that is by continuously listening to them – and acting on their concerns.
Our platform offers a flexible, simple-to-use survey tool giving you in-depth insight on employee needs and concerns, where your organisation can improve, and the things you’re getting right. Book a demo with us today to find out how WorkBuzz can help you create meaningful surveys to help better understand your workforce.