29 November, 2021
Overcoming Employee Engagement Challenges in 2022
The HR function has been evolving in the recent years, with an increased pressure on organizations to have a people-centric approach. However, if terms like ‘empathy’, ‘work-life balance’, ‘wellness’, ‘flexibility’ and ‘diversity’ were buzzwords till 2021, they’re likely to become determinants of workforce retention and engagement in 2022. With changing market opportunities and emerging global trends like the viral hashtag #quitmyjob on the internet, the HR community has a pivotal role to play in managing employee expectations and leading them through ambiguity and change. This blog covers the expected employee engagement challenges and their possible solutions that can be adopted by HR leaders in the coming year:
Challenge#1- Weaving wellness into work
As the pandemic hit, organizations were scurrying to manage the toll on their employees’ mental health, owing to forced isolation, job insecurity and fear of the virus. However, even as many regions of the world are settling into an endemic, a new wellness consciousness has seeped into corporate culture. Organizations need to retain the focus on worker wellness if they hope to remain employers of choice
Solution– Investing in mental health support and other wellness benefits above pure financial compensation. Measuring employee sentiment and setting up redressal measures using sentiment analytics, AI-driven chatbots and timely interventions
Challenge#2– Managing organizational change
There has been a rise in gig or contractual workers, even in the knowledge economy, over the last 5 years. Thought leaders predict that this trend will continue in 2022, making it imperative to realign engagement efforts and make benefits more accessible. Additionally, the high rates of turnover among full-time employees also means that the internal talent pool needs to be developed to take on key roles, including leadership roles
Solution– A digital engagement platform can help streamline R&R efforts, track employee data like attendance, performance and sentiment as well as enable better collaboration among on and off-roll workers. Additionally, a virtual L&D program can help equip employees to adapt to emerging organizational requirements
Challenge#3– Redefining Rewards
It is known that the younger generations in the workforce, particularly Gen Zs, demand regular feedback, fair assessment and timely rewards for their efforts. Additionally, hybrid work has changed the parameters of expected employee behavior. Communication skills, initiative-taking and responsiveness are as important, if not more, as technical skills. Accordingly, organizations need to re-look at their rewards and recognition structure, ensuring that it promotes organizational values and work culture while rewarding performance in the current context
Solution – Integrating performance data with the organization’s R&R platform; encouraging 360 degree feedback and continuous performance assessment. Expanding the definition of good performance to include behavioral traits and value-driven actions.
The recent years have seen an increasing partnership between the HR and business functions in the form of HR business partners (HRBPs) and roles like Head of Talent Engagement or Chief Wellness Officer. As the movement towards employee centricity matures, HR will need to rely heavily on data and technology to manage employee experience. The coming year will likely see them as stewards of business growth, providing tangible value to the business function through people insights and visible engagement metrics.