Are your employees engaged? Do they feel valued? Simple questions to answer, right? So why do so many organizations struggle with it? Regardless of whether your work model is in-person, hybrid, or remote, our experience has shown us that having employees who feel valued and engaged requires a specific set of strategies that are baked into your culture. It’s never a one-size-fits-all model. What works for one employee may not work for another. But, if you want to attract and retain top talent, it’s worth taking the time to create an environment that people want to work and grow in.
Employee engagement is when people want to be involved in their work and have a desire to not only learn more about their role and organization, but also have a passion for it. Employee engagement has a direct link to employee satisfaction, but in most cases it is hard to be satisfied with a job you are not interested in.
Throughout the past few years, we’ve seen a huge change in the workplace. Since this shift of working in the office to some of us being at home, it can be difficult to stay engaged when so many other things are going on in the world. In times like these it is especially important to make sure your team knows that they are valued and seen.
Employee engagement is beneficial to both the company and the employees for a multitude of reasons.
For the employee, having high levels of engagement can relate to having high job satisfaction and involvement. When employees feel like they are involved, a sense of belonging is created which also helps with mental health and well-being. As employees stay committed to their roles and being engaged, their knowledge will grow in their areas of expertise, which can drive productivity and help them to achieve both personal and professional goals. All in all, once the employee is engaged, it’s a better work experience for them.
On the organizational side, striving for increased employee engagement can reduce employee turnover, enhance team performance, lower risk of burnout, increase employee safety, increase company morale, increase sales, and even improve customer ratings.
High levels of employee engagement helps the employees and employer become stronger together and create value for everybody.
In the last few years, we’ve seen the shift away from in-person work to an online or hybrid environment. These adjustments have had a huge impact on employee engagement, both good and bad. Juggling work and life while also being a good employee is more challenging than ever. By recognizing that your employees have a lot on their plate and creating a culture that accounts for that, you can help keep your teams motivated and inspired.
The first step to making everyone on your team feel valued is getting to know them as individuals — and this includes understanding their unique situations.
Each of us have different communication preferences and personality types. Extroverts may be more inclined to switch their computer camera on for meetings or be more reserved in-person, while introverts may feel drained by the constant visibility. Similarly, public recognition may work for some, but be embarrassing for others. Customizing your approach to giving appreciation makes everyone feel seen and valued.
One of the best ways to make people feel valued when managing a remote team is through frequent and honest communication. Being open and transparent about the state of the business, the challenges you’re experiencing, and the expectations you have of the team sends a message that you prioritize your team members and the role they play in the organization. Involving them in the conversation and asking good questions can ensure a two-way dialogue that encourages collaboration and builds trust. With successful communication strategies, employees become actively engaged in their roles due to the fact that managers have created a strong foundation that encourages employees to be their authentic selves.
Recognition is one of the main ways you can make your team members feel valued. When you acknowledge someone’s efforts it says, “I see you and the great job you’re doing.” Give positive feedback often, and encourage your team to give input on who gets recognized, and how, to show them their opinions matter.
In our current environment, teams range from remote to the office, to a little bit of both in a hybrid style. Managing a team may make it feel harder to connect with your people, no matter where they are — but taking practical steps to make them feel seen and valued as individuals can bridge the gap and ensure everyone stays engaged, motivated, and productive.