Seasoned business owners recognize the emergence of employee engagement as an effective strategy in promoting the holistic development of their business. Engaged employees are better able to accomplish organizational goals, are more productive, innovative and intrinsically motivated. They become ‘Advocates for the Organization’ and this correlates to the upliftment of the business’ reputation.
Aegis Business Solutions’ Human Resource Officer, Adrian Parbhoo, shares cost-effective, innovative ways to create and maintain employee engagement.
‘Understand your culture and your people’
Parbhoo reminds business owners that their organization consists of individuals from different generations. There are millennials, baby boomers and Gen Xs. He recommends conducting an engagement survey to gain insight into how different engagement strategies work on different generations. This is to ensure that whatever engagement strategy selected does not only serve an isolated segment, but rather the entire organization.
‘In performance management, the first rule is to set expectations, allow persons to know their roles and coach (where needed) in attaining goals and key performance indicators set for each employee’, says Adrian Parbhoo.
Employees feel a sense of belonging knowing that they are achieving the goals outlined for them and that their contribution plays a critical role to the success of the business. Employers should be motivated to set S.M.A.R.T. goals for employees. These are:
S – specific
M – measurable
A – attainable
R – relevant
T – time based
The third strategy Parbhoo shares is an important one – communication. Adrian urges leaders to communicate constantly with their team, give feedback and leverage technology to their advantage. Technology can be utilized to address the unique challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collaborative events between Human Resources and Marketing should be encouraged. While Human Resources provides technical knowledge, marketing effectively executes the events catered for the employees.
How to prevent a Technology Burnout
While technology has been an exciting breakthrough for maintaining effective communication in a COVID-19 world, some employees are experiencing a technology burnout. This is evidenced by a recent Harris study that recommends Zoom calls being at most 18 minutes in length.
For this, Adrian suggests, ‘match the communication to the task itself,’
‘So for example, if the task lends itself to being communicated over a Whatsapp text, phone call or face to face, then this method should be adopted’
He suggests not over-relying on one project management tool, but rather have an assortment of tools in your arsenal. Use the medium for its intended purpose.
Whatsapp Message – to send a quick reminder or update.
Zoom Call – to conduct Monthly/ Weekly meetings with the entire team.
Face-to-Face – to break the monotony of being home.
Utilizing different mediums of communication also lessens the burden on employees, that otherwise would be receiving two hundred (200) emails. This may cause employees to feel overwhelmed.
Adrian reminds business owners that ‘ We are managing people, not technology. Be aware of your team and have the cultural awareness of everyone, to ensure that communication methods are working for everyone effectively.’
Top Budget-Friendly Ways to Engage Employees
Here are some low-budget ideas to engage employees.
- Virtual Bingo
- Party themed virtual Lime such as a ‘beach’ theme or public holiday celebration
- Team Breakfast
- Virtual Lunch as a team
- Lunch and Learn – example Spanish Classes
- Internal Influencers – popular individuals at work can lead an event online
- Acknowledging the commitment and success of employees
- Celebrating Birthdays
- Buddy Mentor System – pair groups of persons together at work
- Encouraging Employees to have a work-life balance
- Have relevant capacity building sessions for working at home – time management, etc.
Parbhoo acknowledges that all companies face similar economic, cultural and social challenges, however, each company has to chart their own path as it relates to employee engagement. The engagement strategy used by each employer must reflect the uniqueness of their workforce in order to be effective. With this, Adrian still encourages business owners to have a holistic strategy and blend creativity with the pandemic.
For further information on charting your way forward as a business owner, please book an HR consultation with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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