Since the shift to remote work most businesses and organizations made two years ago, many valuable lessons have sprung up toward boosting employee engagement. While the learning curve for managers was initially steep, this new way of doing business restructured connections between employers and employees in the ‘new normal.’
According to Gallup analytics and advisory firm, during the second half of 2021 U.S. employee engagement dropped for the first time in a decade. Unclear employee expectations, lack of resources and equipment, and a shortfall in fully utilizing employee skills were all linked to the decline in engagement.
Research also noted, organizations that actively practice engagement through senior management involvement, communication, upskilling managers and accountability, saw improvements in employee engagement and performance. At Unum, we want our employees to thrive throughout life’s moments so they can pay it forward to our customers.
Here’s how employers can create an engaging company culture and foster a sense of belonging.
- Develop Existing Talent – When employees know a company is willing to invest in their professional development, it empowers them to reach their full potential. Provide access to online and in-person training resources to create continuous development opportunities for internal talent. Tuition reimbursement and leadership training programs position employees for success in their careers.
- Prioritize Inclusion and Diversity – Developing an inclusive and diverse culture where employees can bring their full self to work promotes collaboration and a sense of belonging. Implement equitable career paths to strengthen diverse talent and let employees know their voices and opinions matter in important company decisions.
- Invest in Total Wellbeing – Healthy employees are happy employees. More than half of workers say they are more likely to stay with their employer because of the benefits they provide. A core employer-paid benefits package with flexible options can help protect employee finances and their mental and physical health. Helping employees across all stages of their lives is a great way to show you care.
- Create a Flexible Workplace – Professional and personal lives overlap now more than ever. Implement paid time off, flexible or remote options, and paid family leave to help your employees find a healthy work-life balance.
- Recognize Employee Wins – Employees want to know their hard work is noticed and valued by their employers. When employees feel undervalued or disconnected from their company’s overall mission, they relocate to companies that align with their values. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 4.5 million Americans quit their jobs, an all-time high as of November 2021. Show appreciation and celebrate the great contributions each employee brings to the workplace.
Boosting employee engagement can retain top talent and show employees their contributions matter in the overall success of the organization. Helping employees feel connected by creating a sense of belonging brings their full potential to the forefront.