An active and engaged workforce that has bought into the company culture and mission is critical to compete in 2016.
As we start a new year, it is worth taking a look at one of the oft-cited trends of the future of human resources management; improving employee engagement and workplace satisfaction. Companies are increasingly looking to provide employees with an environment designed to keep them engaged, with the hopes it will reduce costly turnover while also fostering company-wide success from the bottom up.
Different strategies carry different costs and challenges, though, and some companies are slower to adapt than others.
Cost-Effective Ways to Boost Engagement
There are plenty of tech options available to help build a strong workplace culture, but companies don’t necessarily need to spend big to make positive steps, according to PC Magazine.
Considering a 2014 Society of Human Resource Management survey shows employee engagement at 3.6 out of 5, and replacing an employee can cost upwards of 30% of the employee's annual salary, PC Magazine offers some suggestions to retain workers.
It begins with assessment, and a simple survey can go a long way. A “quickie poll” using an online survey tool such as SurveyGizmo or SurveyMonkey or even a poll administered from a third party can provide insight into what employees are thinking and feeling. The article also suggests that companies “make a big deal” about employee success. Some services even provide newsfeeds or bulletin boards to give “shout-outs” for a job well done.
Also, rewarding employees with experienced-based rewards, like tickets to an event or company-sponsored trip may lead to greater overall happiness. Google Head of People Operations Lazlo Block reported employees’ happiness for a group of employees who received a cash bonus dropped 25% after five months, while employees who received experience-based rewards got happier. Lastly, PC Magazine suggests considering an audit of employee engagement efforts.
Amid all the discussion of improving employee engagement and the myriad ways to go about achieving greater employee happiness, one survey found that one of the components frequently used to assess employees' workplace experience is actually being ignored, according employee engagement software company Motivosity.
A survey of Inc. 5000 companies conducted by Motivosity found 98% of CEOs look once at employee engagement polling and then discard the results. Scott Johnson, Founder and CEO of Motivosity, and former CEO of an Inc. 5000 company, said a strong corporate culture doesn’t come from simply “winning” as a business and is often erroneously delegated by top brass.
“The sad thing is that most CEOs don’t understand the importance of culture," Johnson said, according to a press release. "If they did, they wouldn’t outsource it to HR... Sure, we made the Inc. 5000 list, but I’m convinced we could have done it easier, faster and better if we would have managed employee engagement programmatically. My people problems were 90% the result of culture conflicts from various pockets of the organization.”
Millennials Must Feel Welcomed at the Table
HR experts offer another strategy to create the best work environment for employees: engage millennials. That's according to an article from Forbes.
Making high-level decisions inclusive will help smooth intergenerational gaps between top employees and other workers and will help keep businesses competitive and attractive with younger demographics of customers. Also, allowing millennials to feel part of something “bigger than themselves” is a good way to improve corporate culture.
Verizon has engaged in a transformational business model that includes treating employees like “customers” of their environment. Allowing millennials to feel as though they are making a positive impact on the world will help attract and retain them.