Cultivating employee engagement for a better experience

  • Employee Experience
  • Solutions
  • 2023
  • Katie Whitehouse
24 April 2023

Employee engagement: Male smiling at laptop

The HR landscape has metamorphosed over the past couple of years. With the transition to hybrid work and a seemingly endless cycle of business disruptions redefining what the modern workplace should look like, it’s no surprise leaders are struggling to navigate employee engagement.

A global Gallup report found just 14% of European employees feel engaged at work.1 With employee engagement affecting all areas of business—from morale to productivity to customer satisfaction—it’s clear more needs to be done, and the solution is multifaceted.

The engagement challenge

To improve employee engagement, business leaders must first understand why it’s suffering. At the ServiceNow London Summit 2023, behavioural expert Thimon de Jong discussed how the pandemic blurred the lines between home and work. With so many of us working at least part time from our kitchen tables, we see fewer boundaries and more instances of employee burnout.

Many of us rely on technology and online collaboration tools as our main sources of communication with fellow employees. If that technology fails, we and our colleagues can easily be left feeling isolated, demotivated, and disengaged.

We must also consider the changing mindset of the workforce brought about by the mental health economy. Gallup research found that compassion is one of the things employees need the most from their managers. Cultivating employee engagement means prioritising our focus on mental health.

Addressing this requires looking at your processes. Do systems make employees’ lives easier or harder? Is there a way to relieve the burden of laborious, time-consuming manual tasks? Have we given managers the necessary training to spot and support staff dealing with mental health issues?

The onus is on business leaders across the globe to balance long-term strategies with overcoming short-term challenges for the health of their workforce and the efficiency of their output. The tools and strategies many have in place don’t support the modern working environment. This is a risk to employee engagement that most businesses cannot afford.

Better employee engagement in action

Organisations looking to engage employees in the new world of work must adapt to the current environment. De Jong spoke of the need to foster connection where we can. For example, equity of engagement during meetings can be used to address feelings of isolation caused by hybrid work.

Improving back-end processes to make employees’ lives easier is another way to improve the overall experience. ServiceNow customer Specsavers revolutionised its processes after reassessing its manual filing system, which lacked efficiency.

“We already had ServiceNow for IT, and then expanded it into our HR domain to make processes easier for our employees, like easy access to payslips on phones,” says James Rands, head of people data, insight, and administration at Specsavers. “This also helped us to integrate departments so other teams across facilities, provisions, and support could all connect and work together seamlessly within a singular platform”.

Using out-of-the-box solutions such as HR functionality is a vital approach and starts with the onboarding process. We use our own onboarding solution to ensure every employee feels like a valuable part of the culture and can be as engaged as possible when they join. The result? A positive onboarding process is one of the most mentioned topics in our Glassdoor reviews.

Getting employee engagement right requires proper balance of technology and interpersonal interactions between employer and employee.

Find out how ServiceNow can help you improve employee engagement.

1 Gallup, State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report, 2022

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