According to recent studies carried out by Aon Hewitt, Gallup, and Deloitte, employee engagement declined in 2016. Yes, you read that right, it actually declined. While this downward trend is worrisome for a variety of reasons—churn, productivity, and (eventually) profitability—there is a silver lining: the study highlighted three behavioural drivers behind the trend, the effects of which can be mitigated quite easily.
With that in mind, let’s look at how you can nip those drivers in the bud and enhance engagement within your organization.
While organizations are aware that open communication is necessary for engagement, a disconnect on information delivery remains. A joint study between Poppulo and Ragan Communications showed that 99 percent of communicators rely on email as their main news channel, yet Deloitte’s survey indicates that 77 percent of employees don’t think email is an effective way to communicate. This discrepancy suggests that a new channel is required. A social intranet provides your company with the ability to relay all types of content while giving staff an engaging platform to find the information they need. It’s clean, simple, and effective for both employer and employees.
Senior leader visibility.
According to Aon Hewitt’s study, employees no longer look to their direct manager for engagement— they look to their senior leaders, meaning those senior leaders must be more visible than ever. Employees want to get to know the people who are directing them and a social intranet provides an ideal space to do that. Content such as anecdotes, philosophies, and interviews, are all great opportunities for leaders to connect with staff. You can even follow companies like MEC or WestJet, whose CEOs maintain blogs on their intranets. Either way, publishing regular content on a social intranet allows senior leaders to interact with employees on a human level leading to stronger relationships and increased engagement.
A sense of belonging.
To be engaged, staff need to feel like valued members of the team. Yet a study conducted by Gallup suggests that under 30 percent of employees feel appreciated. The study revealed that public acknowledgment from a senior leader or direct manager is the most desired form of recognition. Most social intranet solutions come with an employee recognition tool built in. Not only does this allow senior leaders to acknowledge their employees, it also allows those employees to give digital kudos to teams and colleagues that go above and beyond.
Employees are demanding an ever-increasing standard of openness, inclusion, and community; they need to be informed and heard; appreciated and recognized; engaged and challenged. It’s ultimately up to the organization to satisfy those needs and while that may seem like an arduous task, it’s actually pretty easy: as you’ve seen above, a well-designed and well-implemented social intranet can help satisfy all of their needs, and all of yours, too.