Employee Engagement: Thoughts and Data
Updated: Jul 20
There may have been a time when a crisis like the one we’re presently dealing with would have been behind us before employers or research firms thought to conduct wide-ranging surveys aimed at understanding how employees responded to it. But such responses manifest quickly in business these days, and groups like Willis Towers Watson are busy assembling COVID-19-specific reports to provide companies with useful employee-mindset insights. Many of these insights are tied to questions of collaboration, leadership, and overall engagement.
It’s the last of these – engagement – that we’ll be looking at most closely here, as anyone familiar with renaizant’s purpose and product suite knows that fostering communication between employees and their leaders is a major item for us.
A recent Willis Towers Watson COVID-19-based report found that 89% of employees surveyed felt “supported” as the global economy absorbs more volatility into its framework. Consider that for a moment: when asked if they felt supported by their company while a seismic crisis plays out across every major economy, a staggering majority of individuals replied that they do; essentially 9 out of 10, in fact. What this suggests is positive (highly positive) feedback for companies which, while contending with crisis-related variables, are nevertheless prioritizing worker wellbeing and peace of mind.
The truth is there’s no reason that can’t always be so. And fortunately, the opportunity to build on a promising trend has arrived – a trend that indicates workers are sensing substantial, culture-oriented engagement from their leaders.
As matters stabilize and companies begin determining how the latter half of 2020 is going to look from a sales, employment, and growth standpoint, consider ways you can apply new practices to better understand team dynamics, increase retention, and drive productivity. Our take is that the moment to implement new feedback and acknowledgement practices/tools is this moment. Most everyone in the business world finds themselves committed to real-time stability and long-term prosperity; keep attending to the first and the second will follow.
Yes, confounding episodes see people interacting with and aiding one another to a much greater degree than would be the case (or would be necessary) in calmer times. But it is also possible that these past couple of months have helped everyone, at every business level, to realize some of the positive interaction and support structures that we’re already at least partially in place.
To further clarify that necessary realization as things begin (slowly) returning to something like their pre-COVID-19 state, ensure you are establishing and fortifying your current feedback tools/practices and communicating with your teams in ways that engender further confidence in the company’s direction and the role they’ll be playing in moving it forward. If your workforce is more spread out than usual, maybe you have already had good reason to systematically retool your feedback processes. Consider what you’ve learned in doing so and what lessons might be perpetually relevant from a functional standpoint and consistently well-received by (and beneficial to) your employees. After all, 89% is an incredible percentage, but it could certainly be 100% within your organization.