In this era of quiet quitting, employee engagement has significantly increased in buzzword-iness. Read anything about quiet quitting and you can expect employee engagement to be mentioned (and if it’s not, it should be).
Because quiet quitting is a symptom of a much larger problem. We have scores of employees who desperately want to feel their work is meaningful, appreciated, and recognized, but who are, sadly, consistently shown the opposite. They are underpaid and undervalued, they lack advancement opportunities or a clear career path, they aren’t trusted to work remotely or flexibly—all while being expected to do more than ever before.
And they’re fed up.
Only 21% of people globally could be called “engaged” in their work. Gallup
So they become “not engaged” as Gallup puts it: “psychologically unattached to their work and company.
Because their engagement needs are not being fully met, they’re putting time—but not energy or passion—into their work.”
They’re so downtrodden, disconnected, and unfulfilled that they’ve lost the energy and passion that they once had, and they are simply disengaged.
Feeling fulfilled in work is incredibly important to today’s workforce and goes hand in hand with employee engagement. Gone are the days when companies could offer open concept offices, snacks, sleep pods, or ping pong tables as their sole employee engagement tactics.
Employees want more.
Employees need more.
They want their work to mean something. To make a difference. But they also don’t want their work to run them ragged or prevent them from having lives outside of the office. They want to feel fulfilled.
Highly fulfilled employees plan to stay three years longer at their organizations than unfulfilled employees. O.C. Tanner
So… how do you improve employee engagement?
You need to understand what your employees want. Talk to your employees, understand what the needs are, prioritize them, understand where the greatest impact would be, and implement programs that will help alleviate or address some of those problems. Measure often so you know you’re on the right track and adjust as you need to adjust.
In other words…
Invest in your employees and they will invest in your business.
This investment can show up in many different ways, but the root of it all—the acknowledgement—is what people are craving now more than ever.
Invest in your employees’ health, relationships, and families. Invest in their career goals, education, and ambitions. Invest in your team’s sense of internal community and camaraderie and, with your team, invest in the community around you.
Enable your employees to show up for the things that matter to them.
Do this, and your employees will pay back that investment multiple times over.
The social media of it all.
62.5% of the population is on the internet for almost 7 hours every day. 92.1% of that time is via mobile phones, and 2.5 hours of that is spent on social media. Data Reportal
We’re spending record amounts of time online, with a large percentage of that time spent on social media. Separating our social personas from our business ones is blurrier than ever before.
And business leaders have taken notice.
Traditional employee advocacy programs encourage employees to post about their company on social media. Brand-approved language is often provided, and messages can range from promoting new offerings to sharing about team building activities. It spreads the company’s message from new voices and reaches much further than posting to official channels alone.
63% of 18-34 year olds surveyed trust what influencers say about brands more than the brands themselves. Edelman
In other words, getting your people to talk is better for business.
And it’s supposed to increase employee engagement at the same time—a theoretical win-win.
But if poorly executed, it can be incredibly restrictive and ineffective.
Approved language and instructions on how to post ensures the “right thing” is said, but limits how much the individual can showcase their own thoughts and opinions, making it seem stilted and inauthentic.
Without flexibility or the sense that a business wants you to be yourself, advocacy programs often fall short.
Online presence = a brand.
Instead of spoon-feeding sanitized corporate language, invest (see what we did there?) in the personal brands of your people.
Everyone has a brand. Support your employees in cultivating their own clearly defined personal brands by empowering them with the tools to do so. Teach them how to develop their unique voices and original content. Provide them with the resources they need to learn how to use social media to their benefit. Give them the creative space to create a platform that will serve them throughout their entire careers.
Employees will respond to your investment in them. They will feel appreciated. They will feel more connected. They will feel fulfilled.
And the engagement, conversation, and buzz that comes with employees sharing on your behalf will pay back dividends for your company.
SimplyBe. Agency is uniquely positioned to help support these efforts, and we’ve experienced these results firsthand.
As the leader in authentic personal branding, we’ve helped countless individuals define and execute their personal brands within a larger corporate brand. And the results speak for themselves.
- At data company Analytics8, we increased employee engagement and inbound leads by elevating the personal brands of key leaders within the organization.
- With our help, @properties increased broker retention and satisfaction, increased brand awareness, and aligned executive leadership to their global marketing initiatives to tell a cohesive public story.
- And consultant Ladi Greenstreet took it upon himself to engage us. Independent of his company, we helped him home in on his unique point of view and voice in a saturated market—amplifying his platform and his company’s in the process.
These are only a few highlights from our years of improving employee engagement through personal brand building.
This work works, and if you’re planning on staying competitive, both in attracting and retaining clients and talent alike, it’s no longer optional.
Businesses are run by people. So invest in your people. Give them the tools to better both themselves and your organization.