Turning Employee Engagement into Employee Experience

Turning Employee Engagement into Employee Experience

A survey reveals that employees with work flexibility are more effective, more satisfied, and more likely to stay. What can HR teams do to stem the attrition avalanche?

As the fourth quarter results started to come out, Indian IT companies laid bare their biggest and toughest challenge for 2022 – the attrition avalanche. On average every four employees is leaving their jobs. Their options range from joining start-ups with exciting compensation that includes having a stake in the future of the company, to working as gig workers for the same clients remotely, they did as employees of larger IT companies.

As remote work becomes business-as-usual, the hiring pool for every organization, whether local or global, has suddenly exploded. It doesn’t matter if the employee is in a tier-II or tier-III city, as they do not have to move to a metropolis of the headquarters of the hiring company. The same is true for employees, they can now work for any company across the planet. HR teams of companies buffeted by the attrition avalanche are working overtime to create employee experiences as their differentiator to retain people.

  • An engaged employee: To begin with one must figure out the traits of an engaged employee. (a) feels committed to the organization (b) feels satisfied with their job (c) feels energized at work. These are easily identifiable behaviours of an engaged employee. The pride in the company badge is evident when you notice employee talk encouragingly about the organization, its role in society, and how she or he feels that their job contributes to the purpose of the organization. Leaders must continually help employees connect their work with this purpose. This is the first task. Tell how they are building the brand. Ask them how they are doing, both personally and professionally, by checking with them from time to time even without an agenda – this works all the time.
  • The Manager-Employee Relationship:The manager-employee relationship has become more important than ever; for hybrid and remote employees, their managers are the primary connection through which they experience their employer. Managers are also the first line in surfacing and elevating fairness concerns and can make the difference between a highly public walkout or a co-created solution to employee concerns. Employee engagement must begin with redefining this relationship in the wake of the pandemic. The manager and the employee have changed, and both need to accept this change. The organization has to make help transition to this new relationship. Companies have automated a lot of management tasks such as scheduling or expense approvals. This has freed the manager’s time which could be now productively used in improving employee experience, rather than expanding the span of control. 
  • The Bedrock of Culture:The pandemic fast-tracked three interwoven transformation genres affecting every industry: the embracing of digital technologies, the creation of new business models, and ushering in new ways of working. During the pandemic we realized that the pillars of our organization culture helped us withstand the shocks. Trust in each other, perseverance despite personal challenges, resilience that reflected in keeping our commitments, and ethical behaviour was evident. The way we stood by each other was heart-warming. Despite having the resources, we never jumped the queue in seeking healthcare attention. Once again, we need to demonstrate our culture and values that makes us different from others.
  • Not everyone wants to leave: It is wrong to assume that everyone wants to leave. For instance, in manyorganizations 90% of employees aren’t leaving, they’re the loyal bunch who are committed to the organization. Why not try and understand why they are sticking around? Managers should do something to reward and respect these people? Something that sends out a message that the company values those are loyal. It can have an interesting impact on those who are considering leaving. It could lead them to think that it is worthwhile to stay back.
  • Find enjoyable jobs: We will perhaps have to learn to live with a different level of attrition for quite some time. It can be turned into an opportunity to sculpting the jobs that teams have been performing. Find jobs that are intrinsically enjoyable, and reward people with those assignments. A Wall Street Journal survey finds that when employees have the flexibility to customize their work, they’re more effective, more satisfied, and more likely to stay.
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