According to a recent Gallup poll, companies with a high rate of engaged employees rates are 21 percent more productive.
So, that leads us to the idea that having employees who are happy and committed to their work is an essential part of your company’s long-term success. Working to increase employee engagement can help to decrease turnover costs while boosting efficiency and productivity.
Now that we’ve made the case for paying attention to engagement, it’s also vital to mention that a failure to focus on what your employees need will put your company in a compromised position, far more so than any competitor or shift in the market.
We’ve got some quick, actionable tips for improving employee engagement that are by no means a cure-all, but still an excellent starting place! (Read through to the end for some ideas on taking your employee engagement efforts to the next level.)
A Darwin Survey performed a few years ago found that the most important factor in employee loyalty and engagement was confidence in leadership.
Employees want to feel like they are being managed by someone who has vision and experience. The best way to make yourself a better leader is by striving to improve your skill set and industry knowledge.
Some leaders try rest on their laurels, which can lead to big problems. Continuing your education and staying up-to-date on developments within your industry can make your company stronger and your engaged employees more productive.
In short, your company’s culture is a combination of how you interact with your employees and how they interact with each other.
Your job as a leader is to keep your finger on the pulse of your company’s culture. When you have to address interpersonal problems within your company, avoid “meddling” in the personal affairs of your employees. Being completely objective and professional can help you avoid showing favoritism when issues like this arise while you are trying to create engaged employees.
Remember that a solid culture is built on trust and consistency, and that providing your leaders – those who interact with employees daily – with ongoing training can inspire the exact kind of engagement you’re looking for.
And on that note…
One of the most common sources of employee frustration is a lack of training. This is crucial in the early days of employment, and a well-thought out onboarding process is a large part of future engagement.
If an employee feels like they have not been given the knowledge or tools needed to do their job correctly, they will start to seek other employment opportunities. In fact, the Work Institute reported that 34% of turnover occurred in the first year of employment.
Focus on providing ongoing training to create engaged employees. Vary the medium to engage today’s employees, and take advantage of online video and highly interactive eLearning. Custom solutions are often the best choice when you want to create greater employee engagement while building your company’s best culture.
Looking for ways to connect with your employees? The team at Projections offers custom video, websites and eLearning, specifically crafted to engage and inspire employees! For over 40 years, Projections has helped employers just like you keep their teams engaged and productive, helping companies create a UnionProof culture from day one, and a reputation as an employer of choice!
Introducing the new workforce: Gen Z (aka iGeneration)! By the year 2020, this youngest generation of workers, Gen Z employees, will account for 20 percent of the workforce. Born during or after 1995, the eldest are 23 years old and are already working side-by-side with four other generations: millennials (Gen Y), Gen X, baby boomers and the silent generation. The oldest millennials are 38 years old, so Gen Z has multigenerational leaders, challenging your organization to develop effective and productive communication systems, leadership skills, and training and development programs.
Every generation has different perspectives about employment and careers, so it’s time for you to dive into understanding Gen Z employees in order to maintain successful HR practices that engage the whole workforce.
Just when you’ve finally learned how to successfully engage millennials, along comes Gen Z. As the first digital-native generation, millennials have driven significant changes in the workplace, from workplace design to embracing social responsibility. Gen Z employees are entering the workforce as employees who are even more comfortable with technology, but their perspective on and experience with technology tools are much different from earlier generations.
A Deloitte study created an informative picture of these young people. Gen Z is skilled with technology. Unlike millennials, they grew up moving rapidly across a variety of technologies — smartphones, tablets and laptops — and social media programs – Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, etc. They are entering their careers at higher levels as most “typical” entry-level work is now automated.
Gen Z is very concerned about their ability to communicate and forge strong interpersonal relationships. This may be due to the fact that technology has negatively impacted their cognitive skill development, and they recognize that their social skills, like critical thinking and communication, are weak.
Gen Z absorbs information in small bites and is visually oriented. This has implications for your training and communication systems. Learning programs that deliver information in easily digested, intuitive modules are attractive to Gen Z employees. Adding soft skills development, such as problem-solving and leadership skills, to training and development can close technology-created gaps in communication skills. This begins with your onboarding program, which should initiate the education process for developing cognitive and communication skills — and continue through all your training programs.
You should use mixed training media that is visually stimulating, easy to access and use, flexible and available 24/7. Providing mobile access is critical to successful Gen Z training, and enables you to deliver continuous learning opportunities. Your managers will also need to hold in-person meetings to supplement the technology-based training and encourage Gen Zers to collaborate on designing work environments that enable people to work as teams, in person or through collaborative technologies.
Gen Z employees also value diversity and are attracted to employers who have similar values and will provide learning and experiential opportunities to work with people who have diverse backgrounds, origins and preferences. In this regard, they are quite similar to younger millennials. The Ernst & Young survey of Gen Z interns found that they prefer millennial managers over Gen X or Baby Boomer managers, likely because some of their perspectives intersect. Since it’s estimated that millennials and Gen Z employees will make up approximately 75 percent of the workforce by the year 2025, this will become a fact of life anyway.
Your leaders need skills that enable them to create a cohesive, collaborative workforce within the context of a culture that embraces diversity and innovation. Could anything seem more challenging from an HR perspective?
Managing and motivating a four- or even five-generation workforce that is growing younger and older at the same time requires leaders who can build respect and trust among them. With top-down support, it’s the front-line leaders who maintain a positive corporate culture and engage employees. You want to develop leaders who can identify and promote shared values across the generations, creating a bond. A good leader is accessible, helps each employee understand the importance of their role, holds people accountable, challenges employees to perform at their highest level and meets their unique needs. An effective leader understands generational differences and leverages that knowledge to engage employees.
For example, baby boomers prefer face-to-face communication and Gen Z needs to develop interpersonal communication skills. Millennials and Gen Z are deeply interested in working for organizations that are socially responsible. Millennials use social media to collaborate. Gen Z employees are natural collaborators and use social media to facilitate real world connections. Both baby boomers and Gen Z desire face-to-face meeting opportunities.
Do your leaders develop mixed-age collaborative teams? Are younger and older workers given opportunities to interact with knowledge sharing from both directions? Do your managers know how to leverage the differing generational motivations to engage all employees? Do your leaders understand the importance of personalized communication skills? Do they have inclusive skills that strengthen employee engagement among all employee generations? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking about your organization’s leadership skills now to develop positive employee relations in a multigenerational workforce.
Finding common ground to bring people together based on their preferences and needs in a productive manner promotes cohesiveness and creates a foundation for leading a multigenerational team. You can develop customized employee videos, web training and eLearning programs that deliver information in a desired format and leadership training programs that address connecting with and managing a multigenerational workforce.
A multigenerational workforce will be a fact of life for decades to come. Consider this: In 16 years, the oldest of Gen Alpha, the next generation, will be 21 years old and entering the workforce. Learning how to connect with a multigenerational workforce now will prepare your organization to engage all employees well into the future.
When you bring new people into your organization, your goal should be to attract and engage them. Assuring them that they have made the right decision by joining your team is achievable with videos. Five key advantages of using videos to onboard new hires are training consistency, flexible topic presentation, creative content, efficient delivery and informative engagement.
Typically, during orientations, different employees give presentations on the same topics. This can send different messages to your new hires who are just learning the ropes. To avoid this confusion, you can improve training by using videos and creating similar experiences for new hires. Maintaining a high-quality messaging standard with videos helps companies consistently train new employees both in-house and at remote locations. Original videos can present all your company information in an efficient way, reducing the time required for employee onboarding.
If you’re a company trainer and are bringing new-hires up-to-date about company policies, you want to present information in a clear format. With the flexibility of videos, you’ll cover a wide range of topics. For example, a library of videos, arranged in order of length, might include: equal opportunity employment, medical leave, harassment, phone use, internet use, drug testing and workplace safety. Offering company videos, you can either show a separate segment for each topic or store segments for employees’ later use. This flexibility gives employees all the time they need to select and view each video individually or in small groups.
Videos that increase employees’ enthusiasm about their new jobs have something in common: They have creative content and teem with engaging elements. One popular video format is documentary-style. Featuring interviews with company employees, documentary-style videos help to introduce new hires to their colleagues. A second format is known as script-based. In this type of video, actors deliver talks concerning organizational topics, like compensation and benefits. Another useful style of video is the virtual office tour. This format helps those just starting out feel comfortable with their new surroundings. Facilitating onboarding, any of these video formats shares creatively designed content that makes new hires feel welcome.
Most of the time video delivery—online or in person—is an efficient process. Whether you’re uploading a video to a social media website or, for privacy, to a Learning Management System (LMS), it is easy to deliver a quality video online for your new hires. For in-person showings, staff can use TVs, computers, laptops and hand-held devices, such as cell phones. Further, PowerPoint presentations with audio voiceovers can also be used to present videos. Overall, all these video platforms effectively bring tools together for content creation, sharing and management.
Did you know that most workers retain knowledge while they are actively engaged in a learning environment? When your new employees experience orientation through video, they learn. This learning process evolves as they are introduced to older employees, team leaders and management via videos. By watching coworkers’ video-based presentations, your new employees will not only understand policies but also focus on the importance of their own jobs. Similarly, videos of company events help new hires learn about company culture. So, for informative engagement, the best onboarding videos promote company values, not just training goals.
Knowing these five advantages of using videos during your orientation sessions is the key to smooth new-hire transition. Letting new employees know that you value and care about them establishes a welcoming atmosphere that encourages low turnover and high productivity. As a result, producing a successful onboarding experience with videos benefits employee morale and bolsters company performance, creating a win-win situation for everybody.
Ready to create a consistent, creative, memorable and actionable onboarding video? One that can also help keep your company union-free? For nearly 40 years, Projections has specialized in connecting employers and employees through powerful video, web and online messaging! Get started today!
According to Gallup, 85% of employees in 2018 say they aren’t really engaged at their office. As an HR department, you have a responsibility to impart important information to your employees. Getting that information to impact unengaged employees is an extremely difficult task. Not only can you improve the impact of your communications for 2018, you can improve employee engagement with texting!
Employees shouldn’t feel as if their time is being wasted with benefit information, excess paperwork, pointless meetings or long training sessions. Keep your messages short. Communication that is direct and clear will help employees pay attention and remember key points. Improve HR communications efficiently with SMS. Text messaging is a great way to send short but impactful messages, since you will have to trim each message to 160 characters.
Use surveys to gather valuable feedback from your team. Employees that help build the company are going to be more engaged and feel more personal responsibility in the outcome. Let your employees have a voice that directly impacts the company by texting them polls and surveys about your policies, practices and events. The more an employee feels plugged in to the process, the more loyal he or she will be. You want to create employee advocates that are excited about your brand and spread a positive word to their friends, family, peers and acquaintances. The more people your employees tell about your company, the more your organic reach will increase for both potential customers and top talent for new hires.
Engagement numbers often drop, the longer employees have been with your company. Gallup reported that only 5% of employees are engaged after 10+ years with a company. Talented and seasoned employees are the most expensive to replace, so improve long-term employee engagement with texting. Make sure you have training in place that is direct and built for the employees who are already well versed in your company policies. Don’t waste the time of your seasoned employees, but make sure they also have room to grow further as professionals in your company. Employees that are able to see a healthy career path are going to be more excited about the direction of their role as a professional in the company. Text messaging can be used to get feedback from these employees, remind them of professional opportunities and check in on training retention after an advanced session.
The things you offer your employees outside of standard pay are going to motivate them to remain excited about your company. When benefits change, text team members with key facts that will encourage them to click on a shortened link, texted to provide to additional content. Allow employees to check in on how many vacation days or sick days they have left by texting in for a personalized, automated response. Improve employee engagement with texting by promoting office contests. Employees can even be awarded prizes for being the first to text back a response to a trivia question about policy, get perfect “attendance” in responding to HR surveys or have their name drawn from a number of correct responses to training quiz questions.
Use creative strategies and text messaging to get your employees more engaged in the workplace. Look for ways to make employees feel needed and empowered on a daily basis, and improve employee engagement with texting. Heightened morale in your company will lead to employees that do more and stick around longer.
Ken Rhie is the CEO of Trumpia, which earned a reputation as the most complete SMS solution including user-friendly user interface and API for mobile engagement, Smart Targeting, advanced automation, enterprise, and cross-channel features for both mass texting and landline texting use cases. Mr. Rhie holds an MBA degree from Harvard Business School. He has over 30 years of experience in the software, internet, and mobile communications industries.
A manager tells a baby boomer employee, “I need you to work on this new project. I’m confident you can figure out what needs to be done,” and walks off. The manager doesn’t give the employee any of the tools needed to do the job properly nor does he explain why the project is important. In another department, a manager sends a millennial employee multiple texts that say, “I’ve been meaning to discuss your future with the company,” and the conversation never takes place.
The first employee feels taken for granted and hopes the work can be completed to the management’s liking. She wants, and needs, goals and feedback as work progresses, but at her stage of life she is not interested in career advancement. The millennial believes the manager is uncomfortable giving feedback and uninterested in the employee’s career plans. He is now looking for a new job.
Much emphasis is placed on developing effective (aka the “right”) communication in the workplace, but do your leaders understand the implications of ineffective communication? A decade ago, the workforce primarily consisted of two generations. Today there are usually three or four, and millennials in particular are driving changes in workplace communication. However, you shouldn’t ignore the fact that each generation has a preferred communication style. Many managers continue to rely on one communication style, acceptable 10-20 years ago, and find themselves questioning high employee turnover rates.
The ability of organizational leaders to communicate with employees in the style they prefer, and in a way that meets their expectations, is key to developing engaged employees. For example, millennials like social media, texts, video and other digital-based communications. They appreciate honest and regular feedback, productive training, collaboration and leaders who respond to their input in some manner.
The “right” conversation isn’t always held face to face, but all interactions across communication channels need to have positive qualities. The right conversations cross generations because they’re “tools” that add to the employee’s understanding of the company mission, the employee’s role in achieving that mission and the value he or she delivers. Engaging leadership conversations embrace employee training and development, insights and ideas, and personal goals. They promote a workforce ‘community,’ and are transparent and sincere.
Gallup conducts numerous surveys on employee engagement, and for good reasons. Employee engagement percentages remain stubbornly low, approximately 33 percent. Measuring engagement levels is not enough. In the technology age, overwhelmed leaders often rely on metrics as a wall to hide behind rather than directly engaging employees. Engagement survey results and other metrics cannot replace regular communication, feedback or training. The numbers may indicate progress or a lack of progress, but a good employee engagement program includes ongoing conversations between your leaders and employees, and managers need the appropriate learning to conduct productive, regular conversations.
A writer in the Harvard Business Review suggests that employee complaints concerning poor communication in the workplace are often symptomatic of a larger, deeper problem. In the article’s example, complaining employees were actually communicating in the workplace, but the real problem was uncertainty about their job responsibilities. Human Resources wasn’t making job responsibilities clear. Leaders trained in effective communication would have examined and uncovered the real issues by engaging employees. This applies to union-proofing your business, too. Employees will inevitably turn to other sources if managers don’t understand and correct larger organizational problems.
The right communication is a linkage between employers and employees, and that can be in person and via video, websites and interactive eLearning that help companies orient, train, inform, educate and connect with employees. In fact, Gallup found that employees who were most engaged had some form of communication with their managers every day. Leaders who use a mix of phone, in-person and digital communication are the most successful in engaging employees of all generations.