EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT? IT’S ABOUT CONNECTION AND COMMUNICATION

/ 13 March 2020

According to the recent 2020 Employee Experience Trends report by Qualtrics, published earlier this month, when it comes to having a workforce of engaged employees, it seems Singapore isn’t performing as well as its neighbours in Asia. India tops the tables with 79% of its workforce considered as engaged, closely followed by Thailand with 72%. Move down the table to Singapore and we see that just 47% of employees are considered engaged with the UK performing only slightly better with just half (50%) of the workforce purportedly engaged in their roles.  

So, while we’re constantly reminded that employee engagement is a top priority and of critical importance to business success, why are so many organisations still struggling and what do they need to do to improve?

At 3radical, we work with organisations globally, including one of Asia’s leading employers DBS Bank, to help them better engage their employees. For us, getting it right boils down to two very simple points:

  1. Employees want to feel connected to an organisation, its leaders, and senior managers.
  2. Employees want more effective two-way communication. 
Employees Want To Feel Connected

It’s not just the the demographic of the workforce that is changing, it’s also their mindset. People today are more socially conscious than ever before thanks to the proliferation of information that is possible in our digital age. Individuals want to feel a part of something and to know what it is that they’re working for, particularly during the first few years with an organisation. Once they know and understand this, they want to have confidence that the business leaders and senior managers are able to get them there. Indeed, this is something that is echoed in the report.

Providing transparency in an organisation is the best way to engender trust and confidence. Have a clearly defined vision and mission for the business, which then runs throughout the organisation, will help build your employer brand and your business culture. Only then can your employees align themselves with where the organisation is headed, feel like they’re a part of it, and ultimately feel that connection. They move beyond feeling like a cog in the wheel to feeling like they’re part of something bigger – with a true purpose – and that’s when you get real engagement. 

Now, this is all well and good. Many organisations already have a very clear employer brand, and well defined visions and missions that the leaders and management team are bought and yet they still fare poorly when it comes to employee engagement. The missing component here is communication, and by that I mean effective communication, which leads us very nicely to our second point…   

Employees Want Two-Way Communication

It’s widely known that the best way to build a connection is through communication. And, communication is not just about sending the same messages via the same channels, it’s about delivering them in the mediums employees want to consume via the channels they prefer, and ‘in the moment’ when it’s convenient to them. Effective communication is about personalisation and it’s about listening and receiving as well as broadcasting. To build real connections, communication needs to be a two-way process. 

Providing a mechanism by which your employees can consume the information they want and need in their own time and at their own pace will help build levels of connection and therefore greater levels of engagement. Enabling your employees to feed back on this information, or to ask questions, will build even more engagement . However, when it comes to building that connection and instilling confidence in business leaders and senior managers, when collecting feedback and questions it is important that it is responded to and acted upon in a timely manner. If employees feel like they’re not being heard despite them telling you, you’ll quickly start to erode the very engagement and trust you’re trying to build.

This is exactly the approach taken by DBS Bank. To engage middle management in its digital transformation journey, and to open up a dialogue between senior leaders and middle managers, the Bank holds an annual virtual conference. This week long online event serves relevant and engaging content for employees to access what they want, on the device they want, when they want. The bite-sized chunks of information are engaging and fun, and attendees are able to ask senior leaders questions and respond to each other’s questions and comments, creating that sense of connection. Now running for four consecutive years, the event’s  effectiveness has been recognised with numerous awards including ‘Most Creative – Business Event’ and ‘Most Effective Use – Apps/Mobile’ in the prestigious MARKies Awards. You can hear Wenxian Yeo in her role as DBS Singapore’s Chief Operating Officertalk more about the conference here.

It Helps To Gamify the Employee Experience

At 3radical, we use our 3radical Voco platform to help employers deliver effective communications that build those much needed connections. And as part of this we advise our clients to do the following:

  • Break your communications down into fun, bite-sized chunks of information that individuals want to consume. Mix it up with a blend of video, written, and interactive content such as quizzes and games.
  • Be device-agnostic, wherever possible, so employees can consume the information at a time and place that suits them, whether that’s on the commute to the office or at home cooking dinner.
  • Make it fun and gamify it by providing a sense of achievement, competition, status and/or reward, whether that’s symbolic or actual physical and experiential rewards. This way employees will actually want to engage with the content you’re providing rather than it feeling like a chore.

National Australia Bank (NAB) uses gamification to engage its employees and drive awareness, adoption, and advocacy of its digital solutions across Australia. You can listen to Claire Righetti, Head of Digital Adoption at NAB,  explain the Bank’s Digifit program and how its using gamification to deliver an interactive experience to engage its employees here. The Digifit initiative has been recognised for its impact on the Bank by being awarded ‘Best Use of Gamification’ and ‘Best Employee Engagement Strategy’ at the Loyalty and Engagement Awards, and ‘Best App – Games / Entertainment’ at the prestigious Mobile Excellence Awards.

To learn more about how we can help you build connections with your employees, deliver better and more effective communications, and ultimately improve levels employees request a demo today! We’d love to share more of our insights and experience with you.

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