Key Speaker: Mr. Kevin Sheridan (Employee Engagement Expert & NY Times best-selling Author)


It is a well-known fact that employee engagement is especially important for talent management and retention. What is less well known is that it is particularly critical when any employee is new to the organization. It is during this period of onboarding that effective communication strategies can best engage the employee and reduce attrition rates by a substantial margin. This creates a magnetic culture by empowering employees to take positive decisions. Shockingly forty four percent of employees polled in a survey feel, their organizations get the basics of onboarding all wrong.

Employee Engagement

The big question mark remains as to what exactly does this term mean. An engaged employee is loyal, self motivated, committed, passionate, optimistic, collaborative, inspirational and believes in work ethics. Engagement allows employees to put much greater efforts due to their passion and ownership towards the tasks. Often HR managers struggle to put together the funds needed from the finance team to conduct such corporate training exercises with a view to increasing engagement. However, clear financial metrics exist to clearly tip the scales in favour of conducting such training. It has been observed through business research conducted by Wharton that there is a thirty one percent enhancement in productivity most such engagement sessions. Also there is greater safety compliance leading to fewer accidents at work. Most importantly, greater profitability has been detected to the tune of 3.5 times. There is also a clear correlation between employee engagement and similar engagement with customers. Research conducted by the Harvard Business Review confirms that there exists a .85 correlation between the two.

Types of Employees

Three employee types have been identified through constant observation backed up by corresponding research. A study of their distribution across the workforce has also been carried out by Gallup. They are as follows:

  •           Engaged– have been explained above. They form just above a fourth of the total workforce representing twenty seven percent of the pie.
  •         Ambivalent– These are the ones who may be termed as “quit and stay”. They should perhaps have quit long back, in fact have quit in spirit but are physically still part of the team. They are not going to leave the organization in the near future, nor are they particularly passionate about the work in the organization, so their impact is almost negligible. They form the largest segment at three-fifths of the entire workforce.
  •        Disengaged– They stand on the opposite spectrum of engaged. They purposefully spread negativity across the organization and hinder work. They must be asked to leave sooner rather than later.
  • The following pie will help explain the distribution:
  • We can see that only a small percent remains engaged.

Key Drivers of Employee Engagement

Key drivers to employee engagement have been identified. They are as follows:

·         Rewards and recognition

·         Career development

·         Leadership qualities exhibited by their managers

·         The company’s corporate strategy

·         The content of the job

·         The relationships employees share with the senior management

·         Fellow workers’ satisfaction levels

·         Open and effective corporate communication

·         The availability of resources –  monetary or otherwise- which allow them to perform their tasks effectively

·         Diversity and level of inclusion within the organization

Three-fifths of employees surveyed confirmed that benefits communicated formed a very important part of engagement.

Components of a Year-round benefits Communication Strategy

A few tactics have been compiled which if followed correctly, can lead to an effective method of benefits being communicated year-round to the concerned people. These are as follows:

·   Employees must be educated on the benefits they are to receive.

·    A technology platform must be chosen that is easy to use and reliable for year-round usage.

·   The same must be kept up-to-date.

·  A method must be developed so that due business intelligence may be collected on perceptions that people have on such benefits. If the perceptions aren’t measured then the management will never be able to deduce the feelings and how things can be improved.

·    A benefits committee must be created of full-time employees who have other tasks but will also oversee requirements to do with benefits.

·    Boomerang alumni must be drafted in to speak about the benefits. Boomerang alumni refers to the employees who were a part of the organization, but quit later on to try apparently greener pastures but came back post realizing their original workplace had the best benefits plan in place. These people must be leveraged to speak to the others and counsel on how the real world outside is much worse.

·   A personal benefits statement must be generated for all the employees.

Tips to perform effective Employee Engagement

Seven tips have been provided by the speaker for ensuring employees get the right doze of engagement. Satisfaction at work is not the same as engagement. People may be happy with overall benefits but engagement refers to a passion for the work and its surroundings, while satisfaction may simply imply the latter. So following are those tips provided:

·  The benefits must be communicated right at the outset during the pre-boarding period itself. They must be seen as part of talent recruitment strategy.

·    The key drivers of employee engagement that have already been mentioned must be recognized and leveraged accordingly.

·    Before drawing up the benefits, a survey of the same must be done so as to ensure competitiveness remains.

·    Executive champions must be secured so that market adjustments may be made.

·  Millennials in particular are extremely conscious of their looks and overall wellness. Thus a wellness assessment must be carried out at the beginning before drawing up the plans.

·    The seven easy steps discussed for communicating the benefits strategy, must be indoctrinated at this stage.

$1· Finally, the benefits must be streamlined along with the company culture. For example, work from home flexibility may be afforded as this leads to increased productivity. Millennials especially do not appreciate being asked to follow strict office time schedules. On average an employee gets disturbed a whopping sixty times in a day at office. For eighty one percent of employees, increased productivity has been observed post work-from-home options being bandied out. Eighty two percent of the Fortune best places to work have the work-from-home opportunities.

Thus it has rightly been understood that engagement is driven by a certain sense of passion and pride. Agility is a key driver to ensuring engagement. Also there must be an adequate belief in the mission of the organization to truly connect with it. 



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