Oct 03, 2021 | Post by: Vikki Pachera Comments Off on Employee Engagement Is More Critical Than Ever

Employee Engagement Is More Critical Than Ever

For a while now, we’ve known that candidates who joined their employer in 2020 or later are more likely to take our recruiting calls and explore options.

They may never have met their team in person, perhaps never had a lunch or went out for drinks after work, didn’t experience traveling together. They simply didn’t bond to the team, to the company. There’s a distinct lack of brand engagement with many of these employees.

Think about mission driven cultures–Apple for decades was out to change the world and the employees literally thought they were doing that. It’s so hard to create that culture on Zoom calls.

It’s often the little things that bond us, a common love for dogs that you realize you have when you walk into someone’s office and see pictures of Fido for example. Maybe it’s a bonding experience at a vendor, a tough negotiation gone right and a celebratory dinner afterwards. A hilarious office moment that you revisit time and again.

Those experiences are largely lost in the virtual world.

What we’ve been seeing recently is more troubling. It’s one thing to consider a job change after 18 months or so. It’s another to see people jump ship in 3 or 4 months after taking a new job. It’s almost impossible to create value for your employer in such a short period of time, in fact, the employer invests so much in getting new people up and running, it’s likely a year or so before they see a return.

There’s a number of employees who don’t care, they never really connected with their manager, never had that lunch, never really socialized. Work is a transactional experience. So quitting comes easy, there’s no gut wrenching anxiety, jumping ship for another 10% is a no brainer for some.

We can start to course correct that by engaging deeper with employees. Just like Peloton, Starbucks and so many great brands connect with their customers on a daily basis, connect with your employees daily.

I’m often surprised that a coffee, a lunch feels so foreign to hiring managers. These are people who take vacations, go out to dinner, jump on an airplane, attend events. We’ve gotten so comfortable working through video calls, it’s a bit concerning.

If that’s not in the cards, there’s other things you can do– follow up the interview with some company branded swag, send a surprise food basket on the first day of work, a creative, thoughtful gift that surprises and delights the employee and tells them you’ve been listening, you know them and you care.

We still reach out to people who have been in their positions a short time, we’re looking for a potential ‘story’ there like, I am helping a friend launch her brand, I’m contracting, the role isn’t what I expected… We still hear those narratives but we’re also increasing getting a transactional vibe, things are great but what’s the opportunity here, can I make more money…wrong answers.

Everyone wants employees that stick, that stay. We increasingly need to have an eye out for the true motivation for a job change. And, by an order of magnitude, step up our engagement with employees.

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