Learn more about how measuring employee engagement has changed because of the pandemic.
The pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives. Those changes ring especially true for workers. The days of long commutes and late nights in the office are out, but they’ve been replaced with virtual happy hours, reformatted meetings, and less spontaneous interaction with peers.
Companies and workers have adjusted well to the changes, and some companies even saw productivity increase during the early stages of the pandemic. Despite light at the end of the tunnel—like lower case counts, vaccinations, and safety innovations—companies are reckoning with how they’ll adjust to a post-pandemic future, including what it means for measuring employee engagement.
Engagement programs are here to stay
There might have been businesses and executives who could have gotten away with avoiding measuring employee engagement before the pandemic, but the business case for it has never been greater.
As employees slowly return to offices and some arrange for themselves to stay remote, the hybrid workplace demands that companies gather thorough and frequent feedback from their people. We know that companies with engagement programs outperform those without, and highly engaged companies see an increase in sales and customer satisfaction.
The challenge for employee programs now is to continue to embed themselves into the strategies of their companies. They can do this by leveraging people insights professionals to help them understand data and share compelling stories with leaders.
Wellbeing is at the top of the engagement funnel
In the last decade or so, companies realized that a mentally healthy workforce means happier and more productive workers. Businesses started championing work-life balance, generous paid time off, and additional mental health resources. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that wellbeing requirements have shot up the list of business necessities.
Workers haven’t just been juggling pandemic stress and work. Many of them have become their children’s teachers, parent’s caretakers, and animal’s constant companions. Workers have needed resources and some additional free time to juggle all the roles that they’re taking on.
Fortunately, the challenges we saw at the height of the pandemic have subsided and won’t be permanent. But the expectation for companies to step in and help when employee wellbeing needs rise will stay. Companies have proven they can do it, and employees now expect their companies as another resource.
Workers want transparent and constant
The expectation throughout the pandemic has been that companies keep workers informed on changes and updates. We already knew that younger generations are more likely to want frequent feedback, but the cadence of communication has ticked up for everyone.
Companies won’t have the same sort of urgent and shifting plans in a post-pandemic world, but there will be an appetite for the same transparency and diligence. The principles learned from the pandemic will need to stick. Companies won’t be able to squeak by without open and consistent communication strategies.
This renewed relationships between workers and the business will also provide more opportunities to gather feedback on crucial engagement questions. Employees will have more trust that their needs will be actioned, and businesses can leverage their pandemic touchpoints to continue to further understand their workers.
The need to stay on top of emerging trends
Successfully measuring employee engagement is partly the game of emerging trends. What’s the latest need that workers have? Which companies are providing innovative resources that the business world is soon to imitate? What new survey methodology is getting at the root of employee needs?
As the pandemic heightened, companies had to innovate and find new ways to engage and motivate their employees. The ones that have done this the best have seen similar or increased business results, as well as employees that have become even more loyal because of the aid they were given.
Now that employee engagement will be a staple for businesses, the winners of the post-pandemic world will be those that stay on top of trends and are able to apply pandemic learnings. We imagine the engagement space is only beginning with the technological and innovative resources it will get.
Join us as we watch employee engagement evolve
We’re excited that the ways of measuring employee engagement will continue to grow, improve, and adapt. It’s a unique time for the industry, and companies of all sizes will have the opportunity to apply industry trends.
To take part with us, make sure to follow the Workify blog, and join us in conversation with The Modern People Leader Podcast.