Your hybrid workforce is here to stay.
According to recent data from the Pew Research center, 71% of workers are doing their jobs from home all or most of the time, compared to 20% pre-pandemic.
Looking forward, the report found that 54% of employees who transitioned to work from home would like to continue to do so post-pandemic.
While you might have hoped that things would return to “normal”, it’s now clear that you will have to permanently adapt the way you do your job to accommodate a workforce where only some of your employees are in office only some of the time.
To help you out, we wrote this article on how to perform one of the key elements of your job — maintaining employee engagement — for a hybrid workforce.
In this article, we’ll explore:
- What is employee engagement and why it’s so important
- Why it’s so hard to keep your hybrid workforce engaged
- How you can use a new class of analytics platforms — like Grytics — to monitor, manage, and increase your hybrid workforce’s engagement
Let’s dig in!
What is Employee Engagement and Why It’s So Important
First thing’s first — let’s create a common definition of what employee engagement is.
According to Forbes: “Employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals.”
We’ll take it one step further. Engaged employees feel like they are part of the team. They truly care about their work, and about doing their part to help their organization achieve its most critical outcomes.
While all of this can sometimes sound a little fluffy, there are measurable, concrete reasons to keep your workforce engaged. An engaged workforce:
- Becomes 22% more productive.
- Reduces their absenteeism by 41%.
- Generates 4x more revenue for their companies over the long term.
Unfortunately, research found that only 15% of employees were engaged — and that was before the pandemic. Today, many organizations are finding it even harder to keep their hybrid workforces engaged and pointed towards the same goals.
Why It’s So Hard to Keep Your Remote Workforce Engaged
Organizations keep their employees engaged with a few key factors:
- Ongoing communication around goals.
- Constant connection with other employees.
- Maintaining a positive, healthy corporate culture.
When you worked on-premise, you had a good idea of how to drive these factors.
- You could personally make sure everyone knew what your organization’s goals were and what role they played in achieving those goals.
- You could identify your “internal influencers” that had a big impact on how everyone else worked, and you could tap them to drive initiatives.
- You could have informal conversations and connections to take the temperature on how people felt about your initiatives and organization.
With the move to a hybrid workforce, you have lost most — if not all — of these tools.
Instead, you have had to replace them with a limited range of employee engagement methods, like distributing regular surveys. However, surveys and similar methods are no real substitute for face-to-face engagement. These methods are:
- Slow: They take a lot of time to distribute and analyze, and by the time you report on your findings your data may already be stale.
- Incomplete: Some employees might not fill out your surveys. And when they do, they might give you the answers they think you want and not the truth.
- Rigid: You can only collect quantitative data, which means you won’t get a sense of how our workforce feels about your initiatives and organization.
In sum: You need to find a new, fast, and flexible approach to driving employee engagement within your new hybrid workforces.
Here’s what one new, effective approach to hybrid workforce engagement looks like.
How to Use Your Existing Tools to Drive Employee Engagement
We have some good news.
You have already moved most of your workforce’s interactions onto collaboration solutions like Slack, Yammer, Microsoft Teams, and Workplace from Facebook to keep your hybrid workforce engaged.
Those solutions document your workforce’s interactions in real-time and store a wealth of information on what your employees are saying, how they are feeling, and whether or not they are connecting to the content you share with them. You just need a way to collect this information from your solutions and turn it into useful insights.
You can’t do this manually — these solutions generate way too much raw information to sift through, especially in real-time. But you can use a new class of technology platforms that collect all of this engagement information, analyze it for you, and provide an accurate picture of how engaged your hybrid workforce really is.
Grytics is one such platform.
Grytics pulls engagement data from your collaboration tools, performs actionable analytics on those data, and reports on the core information you need to improve your hybrid workforce’s engagement levels.
Grytics provides a range of useful features to monitor, manage, and improve your hybrid workforce’s engagement. Grytics fundamentals features are:
- Content Metrics: Lets you look at all of the content posted within your collaboration tools, see which content receives the most engagement, and bake more of that content into your calendar. Learn more here.
- Member Metrics: Helps you identify which of your employees is an internal influencer that drives a lot of the conversations on your tools, and work with them to keep your employees engaged. Learn more here.
- Sentiment Analysis: Measures how your employees are feeling about specific initiatives — or about their work in general — to catch negative feelings and develop a more positive, engaged workforce. Learn more here.
With these features and the right approach, you will be able to:
- Monitor, manage and improve your hybrid workforce engagement.
- Increase your hybrid workforce’s productivity and achieve your goals.
- Collect accurate, robust, real-time data to define and drive your strategy.