We are in the middle of a pandemic, bored and tired of watching Dalgona coffee videos. If you’re an employer you should be even more concerned about this boredom of your employees. Employee engagement is a challenge faced by organisations worldwide. A Gallup survey from 2018 had 87% of respondents from across the world admit that they are not engaged at work.
Even in pre-COVID conditions, if you’re a senior leader at a company, this may be impossible to believe. “Bored employees! Naah, we change lives here!” While changing lives and making a difference is very touching, for it to be a reality, you need employees who are passionate, who believe in the company and are offering their 100% every single day. You need employees who are engaged. Brings us to the question;
What is employee engagement?
William Kahn provided the first formal definition of personnel engagement as “the harnessing of organisation members’ selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances”.
In essence, employee engagement takes into account the sense of commitment employees feel towards the organisation’s mission and goals. They feel aligned with the direction and speed the company embraces.
At this point, it is easy to associate employee engagement with employee satisfaction. However, the two are vastly different in what they measure. Employee engagement goes beyond employee satisfaction. While an employee may do all that they are asked for, they may not love the work they do. The difference is as stark as a frozen microwaveable pizza and a fresh one. While both satisfy your hunger, the latter always brings real joy.
What are the 3 types of employees?
There are three types of employees based on their level of engagement in the workplace.
- Engaged employees– aka the future CEOs of your organisation. These are the employees who truly believe in their work and want their organisation to succeed. They go the extra mile in everything they do. They are positive in their approach and truly believe their work makes a difference. Needless to say, they love what they do and are emotionally invested in the organisation. These are the kind of employees you need to succeed.
- Unengaged employees– aka the robots of your organisation. These are the employees who start looking at their watches after lunch hoping time moves fast and they can go home. They complete the work given to them but they don’t care enough to go the extra mile. They don’t put passion into their work. For them, their job is a means of earning, nothing more and nothing less.
- Actively Disengaged employees– aka the evil zombies of your organisation. These employees are the ones that are most harmful to your organisation. They spew poison and turn the unengaged employees to actively disengaged employees. They hate their jobs and are not afraid to show it. They are resentful and demotivate others, making them leave the organisation so as to get ahead in their jobs.
How to unlock employee engagement at your organisation?
A quick online search on the question above will introduce you to a number of ideas, tips, studies and some savvy consultants recommending outdoor retreats and team bonding activities. A lot of these may or may not yield results, but will definitely burn a hole through your pocket. So before you check those options, here’s a primer to browse through.
1. Acknowledge that a problem exists
If you’re a decision-maker in your organisation, you need to acknowledge and accept that a problem exists. Move away from superficial engagement metrics and short-term solutions like corporate outings to address core employee needs. These could be benefits, learning and growth opportunities, or other. You can’t address a problem if you don’t acknowledge it.
2. Money is not the answer
Employees today cannot be lured by the singular promise of money. According to an Intelligence Group study on millennial workplace motivations, 64% of the respondents said they would rather make $40,000 a year at a job they love than $100,000 a year at a job they consider boring. Companies need to drive employee motivation through their mission, their clarity and their appreciation.
3. Invest in employees learning needs
Unengaged employees feel that the organisation doesn’t care about them. Investing in a robust learning platform that can cater to individual learner needs, build communication bridges across the organisation and offer avenues of value for employees can reap immense benefits. A Peer learning platform like BHyve that addresses all your needs seamlessly can be the way to go.
4. Recognition goes a long way
Unengaged employees often feel invisible. Recognition for the work that they do, no matter how small, goes a long way in making them feel like they belong. According to a study by University of Warwick, recognition leads to happy employees and happy employees are 12% more productive.
We believe workplace engagement leads employees to a higher ‘state of being’, where they experience more energy, happiness and clarity. This reflects in the work they do, the culture they build, the relationships they nurture at your organisation. They are typically more productive, and require less managing, and more mentorship. They are a tremendous value add not just to the organisation, but to their peers and the direction of your organisation.
We look at Peer Learning as the silver bullet to sustained employee engagement. The higher ‘state of being’ we look to facilitate at BHyve is not just through their feelings, but also their capabilities as employees. With BHyve, your employees can take charge of their learning and engagement needs, and make choices that benefit them and you, in the long term. If you are on the lookout for an employee engagement solution, contact our experts at BHyve today.