In today’s competitive business scenario, organizations have learned that to stay ahead, they need to keep their employees motivated. One of the ways in which they do this is through employee engagement initiatives. Engaged employees are productive, involved, and committed to the organization. They are not likely to be constantly on the lookout for better opportunities. When employees feel their contributions are valued, that their goals are aligned with the organization’s goals, and their needs in terms of pay, nature of work, and work atmosphere are met, they could become ambassadors for your company. And you can’t quite put a price on that.
The key to employee engagement lies in effective communication. Organizations that unlock the potential of their workforce are the ones that will ride the changes brought about by an uncertain economy.
Here are a few vehicles that organizations can use to engage with employees:
Newsletters: From wishing employees on their birthday to inviting them to take part in contests, from showcasing team achievements to recognizing meritorious employees, newsletters can be used for just about anything. Use them to talk about projects done in different teams and highlight successes. In very large organizations, this can give teams an insight into the kind of work done by other teams. Cross-team collaboration can be facilitated and best practices shared through this forum.
Blogs: Employees can be encouraged to share articles and stories or write about their participation in workshops or other fun activities organized by the company. Those who like expressing themselves through the written word can find an outlet for their creativity through this medium. It’s also an important knowledge-sharing platform where information pertaining to projects can be captured.
Social Media: Let’s face it. There’s no escaping social media, and from what reports indicate, no one really seems to want to. Facebook, Twitter, Yammer, and LinkedIn can be leveraged within organizations to start and build conversations. They are effective tools for idea generation and collaboration.
Podcasts/ YouTube: Short podcast videos of talks given by senior management could be an effective way to communicate organizational goals and the roadmap for the future. Employees could be encouraged to create educational podcasts or ‘fun’ podcasts to showcase their talent and creativity. Or they could go one step further and put up their videos on YouTube.
SlideShare: Presentations are the order of the day in every organization. A good practice would be to share this knowledge with all employees through a tool, such as Slideshare. Those presenting on various topics would be able to reach a wider audience if their presentation were to be captured and shared through SlideShare.
Electronic Direct Mailers (eDMs): eDMs reach the employees’ inbox and can be made attractive with graphics and images. Links can be embedded in them and employees can be urged to click on the links to take them to an external website or blog through a call to action. eDMs can be used to communicate management decisions or news from the top.
With the right mix of news, views, and interactivity through a wide variety of channels or vehicles, you could hit the right chord with your employees. Invest in your employees and your Return on Investment (ROI) would be loyalty and commitment, which would translate to better business outcomes.