Sukesh Jain, CEO, BI WORLDWIDE India shares best practices for maximising employee engagement to drive commitment, performance, and ROI, in a fast-evolving work landscape.
“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”
- Vladimir Lenin
The year 2022 was marked by post-pandemic uncertainties, return-to-office policies, The Great Resignation, and a burned-out workforce. In 2023, new challenges loom large for CHROs and HR leaders: stiff competition for talent, moonlighting, skill gaps, quiet quitting, and the need to control costs amid an impending economic downturn.
Beyond doubt, employee engagement has become a moving goalpost. Yet, inspiration is no impossible pursuit, and constant resilience and reinvention can help pull out all the stops. As a global leader and India’s foremost in delivering tech-enabled loyalty and engagement solutions, BI WORLDWIDE proposes turning to behavioural science, not speculations to navigate the change. We bring proven, award-winning engagement strategies, backed by our long-standing experience and global client success, that HR leaders can leverage while designing employee loyalty and engagement programs in 2023 and beyond, to drive measurable business results.
Behavioural economics suggests that 77% of human decision-making is driven by emotions, not rational thoughts. This is where our research - The New Rules of EngagementSM, grounded in behavioural science, can prove instrumental in driving outcomes organisations are after: commitment, effort, and inspiration. Change is the only constant and we redefine “the New Rules” year after year, constantly testing new ideas based on how work changes over time. These new rules are: Get inside their heads, Magnify their success, Help them thrive, See their future, Unite them, Let them lead, Be boldly transparent, and more.
A culture of recognition makes employees feel part of something larger than themselves. However, meaningful recognition is no one-time act. Make every moment count throughout employees’ professional journey – from the day they decide to join, their first day at work, achievement days, to the day they become brand advocates. Rodd Wagner, a leading authority on employee engagement and New York Times bestselling author, puts it brilliantly, “Dopamine not only surges when someone succeeds but also when his leaders and colleagues acknowledge his success.” Appreciating throughout employee lifecycle sets off the dopamine effect, creating a strong cycle of success.
Our research also highlights how recognition in writing makes it 2x more likely for employees to feel inspired, and offering exciting incentives makes it 8x more likely that employees will find work inspiring.
Organisations can go an extra mile in providing more strategic and meaningful recognition from start day and beyond, by embracing the power of intuitive technology tools. Leverage real-time, actionable data analytics for guidance on how and when to provide recognition that will be most impactful. Data-driven decisions, based on key metrics, can prove helpful in successful onboarding, shortening learning curves, milestone celebrations, ramping up productivity, budget utilisation, and immersing employees in organisational culture.
An inclusive work culture, delivering an equitable and inspiring experience to everyone, on a daily basis, is truly empowering. There are many building blocks of such an inclusive culture - leadership alignment, communication, learning, events, career pathing and even the physical space employees work in. However, BI WORLDWIDE’s research - ‘Using Recognition to Create a Culture of Inclusion’ underlines how the most powerful way to influence culture change is through recognition:
Communication is the cornerstone to bring an employee engagement program into real practice. Employees need to be communicated clearly about the objectives and advantages of employee engagement strategies, technology, rewards, incentives, and more. Focused, strategic and personalised communication, nudging employees to truly interact and relate with their engagement program, inspires behavioural change while making them feel great about being a part of an organisation.
Communication must also flow from the top. Leaders communicating directly with employees have 12% greater odds of driving inspiration over those who communicate through the conventional hierarchical chain.
Setting employees up on the path to their career goals is integral to organisational growth. Invest in learning, skilling, upskilling and reskilling of employees, and the payoff will be unmatched. Our research reveals that employees who received on-the-job training were 2x as likely to feel inspired than those who did not. However, training must be effective, meaningful, and relevant to the role and to individual growth ambitions, else it will be counterproductive. Employees who received irrelevant training were actually 2x as likely to not be inspired.
Chart employees’ future by designing interactive learning programs, aimed at developing diverse competencies - onboarding, role-based trainings, compliance trainings, and more. Leverage highly creative and interactive content to make the learning experience immersive and its impact long-lasting. Our experience with a diverse clientele also shows that eLearning, digital publications, workshops, learning games, simulations, videos, and virtual reality are effective tools to support the sophisticated needs of today's learners.
Behavioural science turns the spotlight on a human-centric approach to deliver incredible experiences to employees at every turn – recognising at strategic moments, creating an inclusive and equitable culture, communicating compellingly, and empowering them to soar higher in their career. At BI WORDLWIDE, we have been leveraging these innovative engagement principles, powered by behavioural science, research, technology, hedonic rewards, learning & training, and communication, across Fortune 500 and blue-chip multinational organisations, to build a culture where employees find a purpose, feel belonged, are valued, empowered to grow, and perform at their best.