Employees are back on-site, but they aren’t exactly lovin’ it.
Some resent the location. Others resent the boss. So engagement has dropped as they work through those mental distractions.
So it’s time to engage employees again.
And the work is cut out for us: Gallup’s Global Indicator Poll shows a drop in overall employee engagement. So, just getting the band back together hasn’t done the magic many hoped it would.
Tricky to engage employees again
It’s a tricky situation these days, trying to improve employee engagement when so many people work on-site sometimes and at varying times.
HR and front-line leaders will likely need to be more intentional with their efforts.
For one, you want to maximize time in the office — allowing teams to collaborate, employees to work independently and initiatives that are engaging — without overdoing it.
Here, in our 3-Point from HRMorning video series, we have HR leaders and experts who’ve been instrumental in helping build engagement across organizations. And all of them agree on one thing: To build employee engagement again, you want to go to employees first.
Click, watch and listen for more details.
Transcript (edited for clarity):
They’re back and they’re not happy about it. Most employees in the office would rather be at home at least some of the time.
To be exact, more than 70% of employees would prefer a couple of days in the office and the rest working from home, a Slack study found.
That means HR and your department leads likely need to do something different to engage employees on site.
The good news is that you can. Employees can be re-engaged and it comes down to asking the right questions. And of course, responding to employees answers at first questions will help you realign, says Britt Andreatta, CEO of Seventh Mind.
Andreatta: You want to ask your people what do you find meaningful? What gives you a sense of purpose? And then help the employee make connections between the work that they’re doing for you and their own sense of purpose.
Another angle, make it a top down assessment.
Urbanski: I like to ask three questions all the time. It’s what does this say about our culture? So if we’re talking disengagement and people are disengaged, we ask, “What does that say about our culture?” Second question is, “What does that say about my leadership?” And “So where do I take responsibility?” Because that’s the third question. How do we say, regardless of what happened, “It’s us, it’s on us and how do we take responsibility?” So it has to start with the right mindset.
Finally, help employees bring their best at-home selves back on site.
Mellor: Now that they’ve had that realization that there’s more to what I can do — that there’s more impact that I can have. There are different ways that we can be doing things. The realization is great, but now it’s like, “What am I gonna do with that? How do I optimize that? How do I actually bring this potential that I’ve maybe become aware of for the first time in my life? How do I actually bring that to fruition?”
Good questions and the perfect way to get employees back on site and happy. So let’s find out:
- What’s meaningful. How can you give employees the work that means the most to them?
- Who’s responsible? How can we create a culture that employees want to be part of?
- What’s optimizable? How can you take what people love about working from home to the next level in the office?
Once you ask the questions that matter, you can make work matter more for employees in the office.