In current times where remote work is so common, there is a shift in the notion of “the employee experience” and how it functions in a transitional work environment. Work from home is not a new concept by any means, but it has become increasingly prevalent because of the events of the last year. It can be difficult for newly onboarded employees to feel a sense of connection and for all employees, in general, to remain engaged which is why it is more important than ever to boost employee engagement in the workplace.
The importance of building relationships
It is beneficial to build good working relationships with your co-workers for many reasons. Closer teams tend to be more productive, collaborative, and effective. When team members know and care for one another, they tend to work better on projects which will not only increase morale, but also produce better results. The human need for belonging and connection drives engagement, and engagement boosts productivity and job performance.
Being a part of a team that sincerely cares for your wellbeing can truly enrich a work experience and make a job enjoyable. It’s a responsibility that lies both on the individual and the company.
Incorporate employee engagement into the workday
Today’s workforce is comprised of a diverse population, all who have different backgrounds, needs, and responsibilities. When considering how to engage all employees, there is no single way that will include everyone. Many companies will plan events after the workday is complete, which can exclude those who have children they need to pick-up from school, someone who is a caretaker of a family member, or the employee who needs to rush home to feed and walk their dog. Companies cannot expect full participation from their workforce when the expectation is that they must do so on their personal time.
However, if your work setting permits, try implementing an engagement strategy that doesn’t exclude those with who have responsibilities after working hours – make it part of the workday! That way, every employee has equal access to both participate and communicate the types of activities they want and need to remain engaged.
Jump in with both feet!
TalentQuest has a committee that is made up of employees across the organization and is responsible for planning company-wide events and activities. When we both started at TalentQuest, we joined committees as a way to meet new people and be part of a team of like-minded, fun coworkers. We’ve had a hand in planning many activities that, over the last 18 months, have been entirely virtual. Now that travel restrictions are lifting and offices are reopening, we are hosting a week-long, in-person Employee Appreciation Week. We have planned activities that include lunches, volunteering, a scavenger hunt, and happy hours! We are providing multiple opportunities – (all within business hours) to build community among colleagues– many of whom have never met in person. We are looking forward to connecting with people from other departments at TalentQuest who we would not normally interact with on a regular basis.
Not just a nice to have
According to a recent Gallup study of nearly 200 organizations, companies with the highest levels of employee engagement were 22% more profitable. Engagement is about being feeling included and recognized as a valued member of your organization. It can be achieved by taking the initiative to involve yourself in work groups that drive connections outside of your day-to-day job. Community building is an additional benefit. Incorporating and encouraging engagement throughout the workday and showing initiative as an individual will shape the employee experience for the better.