Flexible Working, Social Media and Data Analysis
Employee engagement has evolved hugely in the last ten years. It continues to change rapidly. Here are nine key changes in employee engagement and how they affect you and your organisation.
Flexibility: More than ever employees, desire, even expect flexibility in their working world. That can be in terms of hours, location or methods of working. In an environment where access to great people is limited, employers who can deliver flexible working in a meaningful way will be at an advantage. This does not of course mean that half your staff want to be on zero hours contracts; quite the opposite – most people still desire security.
One size doesn’t fit all: If you are going to have a flexible work environment which empowers and engages your team, chances are one size won’t fit all. People are diverse, as are what motivates them. So too are the ways in which they feel comfortable communicating.
Trust: If you are going to have flexible working practices, you must trust your employees to deliver. It’s no use allowing your employees to work from home if you are hopping from one foot to the other worrying if they are spending their time elsewhere! No micro-managing, demonstrating that trust will motivate your staff and increase employee engagement.
Always on: The days of the annual staff survey being the primary way to measure engagement are over. A full annual staff survey may be a way for a deep dive into how things are going but you will need to have a process in place to gauge regular staff feedback and discussion.
New ways to engage: More than ever there are exciting options about how to engage with your employees. The ability to collect, analyse and disseminate information has never been greater. Your job is to ensure you have easy, trusted systems which give you useful, valuable information in an accessible way.
Under the spotlight: Social Media; Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, the list goes on.
You need to run your organisation right. If you get it wrong, the message spreads like wildfire and can’t easily be erased. Likewise, if your employee engagement is poor it can quickly end up on social media in the public domain. In this digital age well trained, well informed, empowered staff are key to keeping your organisation on the right track.
Beyond employment: Information about how you treat your staff and how engaged they are is no longer solely internal. Across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn Glassdoor and a plethora of other routes, information about staff satisfaction and attitudes to your organisation will be public. Potential hires may look at this when considering whether to jump onboard.
Distance front line to centre: A frequent problem in the past has been filters within organisations on information and perspective getting to (and on occasions from) central management from the front line. That does not need to be a problem anymore when you are one click or swipe away from understanding your team.
Data analysis: Not only do digital environments give you the opportunity to gather information on staff satisfaction more easily. You now have more opportunity than ever to analyse that data.
- What drives engagement.?
- How does it change over time?
- What are the costs and benefits?
- How does that tie in with costs and customer satisfaction, or safety?
Wealth of Opportunities
Getting it right: Poor engagement tends to lead to poor performance. That’s more of a problem than ever. When your organisation gets things wrong you can quite easily find a video has gone viral and that may be the first you know about it – too late – the damage is done!
Empower your staff: It’s not just poor engagement that can lead to problems. If your organisation isn’t working well, any customer related issues can lead to online carnage. You need to empower and train your frontline staff on how to communicate effectively with any issues immediately.