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Elevating Employee Experience with ‘New Rules of Engagement’

Dec 14, 2023


Mark Hirschfeld, Vice President, Consulting & Strategic Partnerships, BI WORLDWIDE shares future-forward insights, strategies, and perspectives from BI WORLDWIDE’s extensive global research – ‘New Rules of Engagement’ 2023 for modern workplaces.

In today’s era of workplace upheaval, we are witnessing a paradigm shift in the dynamics of modern work culture. Hybrid flexibility, self-growth opportunities, differentiated recognition, and employee wellbeing are some key trends reaching the frontlines – creating headwinds and tailwinds for employee engagement. Amid this evolution, CHROs and HR leaders need to rethink the employee experience mission – strategies, technology and leadership enablement – to meet emerging expectations.

A global leader and India’s foremost in providing tech-enabled employee engagement solutions, BI WORLDWIDE turns to in-depth research and behavioural science to stay ahead of change.

New World. ‘New Rules of Engagement’.

Combining the power of extensive research, behavioural science principles and realworld application, we have determined 12 ‘New Rules of Engagement’, that have the greatest impact on employees’ relationship with their organisations. These rules can empower organisations to achieve the most sought-after outcomes of employee engagement – high commitment, effort and inspiration. The 12 rules are:

  1. Make it personal: Know each employee as a unique individual – their abilities, aspirations and how they work best.
  2. Make money a non-issue: Don’t let this emotional area become a bigger deal than it has to be.
  3. Help them thrive: Protect employees’ holistic wellbeing – work, personal life and health.
  4. Realise their potential: Provide tools, learning and development to grow top talent and bottom line.
  5. Foster belonging: Make employees feel a part of the organisation to retain them and drive exceptional work.
  6. Be boldly transparent: Use employees’ ideas to shape the vision for future.
  7. Give it meaning: Let employees be part of something bigger than a job and a paycheck to drive higher performance.
  8. See their future: Help employees chart their future to be rewarded with their best work.
  9. Magnify their success: Make a big deal of employees’ accomplishments to see them repeated.
  10. Unite them: Foster strong collaboration and team spirit among employees.
  11. Let them lead: True empowerment is not just a place to voice ideas but having those ideas seriously considered.
  12. Challenge them: Challenge, rally and support employees wholeheartedly and be struck by what they can do.

The foundation of a Great Company Culture

Behavioural science suggests that 77% of human decision-making is driven by emotions, rather than rational thoughts. ‘New Rules of Engagement’
research also outlines four key pillars of a great company culture – leadership, purpose, belonging and recognition. These pillars help nurture an emotional connection with employees, helping win their hearts and minds – and drive inspiration, performance, and talent retention.

Inspire them through inclusive leadership

A culture of inclusion begins at the top. Inclusive leadership is a unique capability of taking decisions with employees’ interests in mind, providing unbiased feedback and delegating work basis skills. Inclusive leaders also support ongoing learning & development and maintain an open culture where employees can share their ideas & concerns.

BI WORLDWIDE research highlights that employees with inclusive leaders and managers are 10X more likely to say they belong, and 12X more likely to find work inspiring.

Believers in DE&I principles, inclusive leaders demonstrate the cultural intelligence to adapt to various needs. They have a compelling vision for the organisation’s future and recognise behaviours aligned with that vision.

Steer ahead with the power of purpose

Keeping employees at the forefront of organisational purpose makes them feel part of something larger than themselves. The upshot is that employees go the extra mile, take challenges head-on and deliver business results that matter – enhanced innovation, performance, resilience, and ROI.

BI WORLDWIDE research points out that when employees feel personally aligned to organisation’s mission, they are 6.1X highly committed and 14.5X highly inspired.

But how can leaders get employees to embrace company’s purpose, connect to the bigger picture and deliver on their fullest potential? Among others, strategic recognition plays a pivotal role.

Employees who received recognition aligned with company values were 4X more likely to feel connected to purpose.

Foster a culture of belonging

When employees feel that they belong to an organisation, they are aligned with its values, bring their full self to work and can envision their future. Employees also experience a strong sense of teamwork and are able to express important aspects of their identity. This empowers them to experience higher levels of engagement and well-being, leading to greater on-the-job productivity. By contrast, a lack of belonging leads to alienation, burnout, and underperformance.

BI WORLDWIDE research found out that employee resource groups can be
instrumental in nurturing belonging in a powerful way. 88% of employees felt belonged when they were active members of ERGs, in comparison to 72% who were offered ERGs, without active membership.

Leadership also plays a key role in fostering belonging by trusting employees with important decisions, enabling them to accomplish more, and recognising

Celebrate achievements – big and small

Recognising employees for their contributions, gives them a sense of pride,
confidence, and ownership. Employees confident that their good work will be recognised are over 10X more likely to say they have a great company culture.

BI WORLDWIDE research also underlines how recognition in writing on a monthly basis and recognition with a reward on a quarterly basis, strongly influences engagement, making employees feel more included, valued, and committed.

In fact, recognition can bring connection to work culture back to hybrid and remote employees. 88% of hybrid employees, who received recognition for behaviours aligned with company values, felt strongly connected to company culture.

Navigating the future of employee engagement

New Rules of Engagement’ research emphasises creating a high-engagement, highROI work culture to embark on the next frontiers of employee experience. Inclusive leadership, connecting employees to the bigger picture, a culture of belonging and magnifying achievements take centre stage in this new work culture.

At BI WORDLWIDE, we have been designing and implementing innovative, resultsdriven employee engagement solutions, for Fortune 500 and blue-chip multinational organisations worldwide for over 70 years. Our experience has shown us that these four key pillars of company culture are critical in engaging employees, igniting synergy, elevating productivity, and enhancing brand advocacy – making a real difference for business bottom line.

*Excerpts of this article have been taken from Episode 1: ‘New Rules of Engagement 2023 Research for Modern Workplaces’ of Elevate Employee Experience (EX) Webcast Series, organised by BI WORLDWIDE and SHRM.

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