If your employees are leaving, it’s essential to examine their experience and engagement. It’s important to identify areas of improvement to boost satisfaction and retention.
Here you’ll learn more about employee experience management and some strategies to improve satisfaction and retention.
Why Engagement Efforts are Not Working
Since April 2021, businesses were being disrupted everywhere as over 19 million workers in the U.S. have quit their jobs. Employers are having a hard time addressing the problem as they couldn’t figure out why their employees are quitting.¹
Instead of taking the time to understand the cause of people leaving their jobs, many organizations are quick to jump to well-meaning quick fixes, such as financial perks and increased pay. However, this may not address the root cause of quitting.
This approach can also make employees feel unappreciated and neglected. Furthermore, this only reminds them their employers don’t meet their true needs.
The Factors Causing Failed Engagement
Almost 80 percent of employees globally are actively disengaged at their workplaces despite their employers’ efforts.² Here are possible reasons why.
Engagement is Considered “an HR thing”
One major reason for failed engagement programs is the misconception that engagement is solely an HR responsibility. It’s essential to realize that your organization might not have explored the full potential of engagement efforts.
Even when leaders attempt to improve scores, there could still be consistent low engagement or a disconnect between high engagement numbers and actual business results.
Metrics are too Complicated or Even Incorrect
Your leaders may be making engagement metrics that are too complicated by focusing on predictors that may be beyond their control. These may even be unrelated to your employees’ needs.
This can create blind spots, showing improved engagement scores without significant business outcomes. It’s essential to simplify and validate metrics for accurate insights.
Leaders Think Perks Solve Everything
Yes, health insurance, free lunches, mental health support, and remote work may help with employee satisfaction and engagement, but they won’t fix all issues.
It’s important to identify the root cause for reduced engagement in the first place. Prioritize finding out what’s leading to their dissatisfaction with assistance from other leaders in the company then use that information to better engage your employees.
Related Reading: Employees on What Makes a Great Company Culture
Surveys are Misused and Overused
Excessive surveying without taking action on the feedback can diminish its value. If employees feel unheard, it can tarnish the data.
Transparent communication about survey results is essential, and the company should commit to making data-driven decisions based on the feedback received to ensure positive employee experience.
Leaders Believe Generic Approaches Will Suffice
Not every employee is motivated by the same incentives. Generic approaches may feel forced or inadequate. Mandatory engagement activities can be counterproductive. It may only add to your employees’ workload.
It’s important to allow employees to engage at their own pace for genuine participation.
Understanding Experience: The Drivers of Employee Engagement
Employee engagement goes beyond perks and incentives. It’s important to understand true engagement to improve employee experience.
What True Engagement Is Like
The employee experience framework covers the entire employee journey within your organization. This starts before they even get hired up to the moment they leave. Meanwhile, engagement is about meeting an employee’s psychological needs at work to help them perform their best. This includes setting clear expectations about their work and providing the materials they’d need.
Engagement also covers an employee’s social and emotional needs, such as understanding their purpose at work and being asked to do what they’re good at. Engagement is mostly a form of relationship. It’s not only an event, a perk, or an incentive.
True engagement is found in a person’s work environment and relationships and can help them reach their full potential because they feel genuine support at work. It’s important to remember that your employees’ engagement, including their behavior at work and their mindset, can impact the way they view your company.
Today, many employees believe that their psychological needs aren’t being addressed by their employers.
- As low as three out of 10 employees strongly agree that they have access to the equipment and materials required to accomplish their work correctly.
- Four out of 10 employees strongly agree that they have the opportunity to do what they’re best at on a daily basis.
- Three out of 10 employees strongly agree that they have received praise or recognition for doing good work in the past week.³
Engagement Drivers to Acknowledge
You can meet your employees’ expectations by understanding their needs through these factors.
1. Purpose-Driven Strategy
Employees are looking for a structured future and trustworthy leadership. They want a purpose-driven strategy that clearly defines their roles and inclusive leaders that know how to lead them in their improvement.
Consider your business’s purpose as you boost your employees’ confidence. Let your values, vision, and mission be seen in daily activities as they reflect people’s roles in the company.
Show them they’re involved in your company’s strategies and successes by celebrating results as a team and considering their career goals for the business’ future.
2. Generous Growth Opportunities
Employees who don’t see growth opportunities for employee development in their organization may decide to look elsewhere. You can ease their uncertainty and improve your employee retention by showing them how important they are in their role.
Inspire them to aim for roles within your business as the next step in their career growth. Ensure growth opportunities by providing resources and training for personal and professional development.
You can start by aligning them with desired roles and then help them upskill. Show their value and inspire them to aim for higher positions within your organization to boost retention.
3. Rewarded Sense of Worth
Employees want rewards that reflect their worth to the business. To create an effective rewards plan, you have to find out what their preferences are directly from them.
See what you’re currently offering to your employees. Ask yourself if your benefits package and compensation are compelling enough. Broaden your options if you think they won’t address the specific preferences of many. You may also consider personalizing their benefits as each person’s wants may differ from that of another.
4. Employee Autonomy
Your employees can flourish better in their job when they have enough control over them. This means they have the freedom to deliver results based on their ideas through the skills that they possess. Employees want to be seen for what they contribute to the business.
Help them build confidence in their work by encouraging them to share ideas. Make sure that their leaders are listening to them by providing helpful feedback.
5. An Inclusive and Supportive Community
Productivity supported by collaboration fosters success as this involves respect and inclusion in work. Encourage your employees to discuss their differences in background, opinions, strengths, and challenges to help you build a better workplace.
Amplify their unique perspectives by creating structured employee resource groups with your leadership team and make sure that everyone is heard and included.
Related Reading: 6 Ways to Maximize Remote and Hybrid Collaboration
Improve Your Company Culture Through Genuine Employee Engagement
It’s important to understand your employees’ strengths and goals to address their needs effectively. Engage them properly to enhance their overall experience and foster a positive company culture.
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1 De Smet, Aaron, et al. “‘Great Attrition’ or ‘Great Attraction’? The Choice Is Yours.” McKinsey & Company, 8 Sept. 2021, www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/great-attrition-or-great-attraction-the-choice-is-yours.
2 “What Is Employee Engagement and How Do You Improve It?” Gallup, www.mckinsey.com/capabilities/people-and-organizational-performance/our-insights/great-attrition-or-great-attraction-the-choice-is-yours. Accessed 12 Jul. 2023.
3 Pendell, Ryan. “Employee Experience Vs. Engagement: What’s the Difference?” Gallup, 12 Oct. 2018, www.gallup.com/workplace/243578/employee-experience-engagement-difference.aspx.