Regardless of size, if you lead an organization, the engagement and buy-in of your people matters. It can be the difference between company survival or bankruptcy. During times of uncertainty, employee engagement can suffer, especially as back-to-work plans are in limbo or are creating division. Strong employee engagement in a digital age deserves special attention and focus as these plans crystalize.
Acknowledge your demographics
Companies are faced with a complex employee population that includes Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, Gen Ys, and Millennials. The younger populations have grown up alongside technology. They’ve become adept at navigating its progression and iterations. In fact, they’ve come to expect it. As a result, their level of employee engagement in a digital age is going to be impacted by how quickly the organization they work for adapts to and harnesses these changes. In contrast, older populations may adapt more slowly to technological changes and struggle to keep up with its impact on their daily work. Learning and development efforts need to address this. If not, some of your demographic’s engagement may suffer as they feel less confident and less invested in work that no longer feels familiar.
Adapt your policies
The status quo isn’t going to cut it when it comes to employee engagement in a digital age. With your workforce more dispersed and diverse, it’s important to adapt your policies to match today’s work culture and expectations. The opportunity to work remotely while retaining productivity is evidenced by observations and research during the pandemic. Digital technology is responsible for much of this as companies shifted toward tech to keep their teams connected and focus on employee engagement in a digital age with new focus. Acknowledging this and matching your policies to support this is an important step toward strong employee engagement.
Pay attention to your people
Gallup research discovered that employees who are ignored by their managers are the least engaged employees in your organization. One-quarter (25%) of American workers fall into this “ignored” category, and 40% of these employees are actively disengaged. Investing in your managers is one of keys to improving employee engagement in a digital age. Whether in-person or remote, intentionally scheduling one-on-one conversations, understanding the needs of your team, and responding to those, managers can account for 70% of the variation between great workplace engagement and poor workplace engagement.
Communicate with intention
Organizations have several communication options to consider when communicating with their employees. Internal communication requires the right tool. Employee engagement in a digital age has opened up new channels beyond email, in-person meetings, and phone calls. Slack, video conferencing, text platforms, and social media channels are just a few of the tools available for communication. Using these with intention and making them accessible to all can build employee engagement or build roadblocks to their connection to your organization. Considering your company’s demographics and how you will onboard your employees to these platforms is an important part of your decision.
By acknowledging your demographics, adapting your policies, paying attention to your people, and communicating with intention, you are setting your organization up for better employee engagement in a digital age that is here to stay.