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Emotional connect is a pre-requisite to an engaged workforce

1/4/24 8:57 AM

Making People Feel Engaged: Emotional connect is a pre-requisite to an engaged workforce, ETHRWorld (

The digital world has forever changed the makeup of the workplace. Technology is allowing us to optimize, scale and streamline processes making way for business efficiencies. These advancements while necessary for progress, pose a risk for businesses where people interactions are becoming largely transactional.

In this digital age, we are increasingly becoming remote or hybrid and therefore a people-first attitude, where relationships and personal touch take precedence is important in keeping employees engaged to the workplace. It’s also extremely critical to create a culture where people are aligned to purpose and are engaged meaningfully to the organization where they feel valued and cared for.

A study by Dale Carnegie and Associates shows that effective leadership plays a vital role in making people feel engaged. Employees value their relationship with immediate manager, belief in senior leadership, purpose and direction of the company and feeling confident, hopeful as well as safe and a workplace that can enable these factors for them show higher employee engagement. In fact, workplaces where leaders trust employees and give them more control over their work reported 74% less stress, 50% higher productivity, 76% more engagement, 40% less burnout and 106% more energy at work.

So how can you replicate a similar success at your workplace? Here are some tips that can help:

1. Building leadership and managerial capabilities: A large part of employee engagement is determined by the leadership capability and managers play a critical role in ensuring that work is meaningful, people are managed fairly, employees take pride in their organization by offering significant transparency regarding the organizational goals, its progress and how employees are contributing to that progress. Driving a learning culture is also essential to strengthen the employee - manager dynamics, as employees value their development, upskilling and role expansion for their growth and further opportunities.

2. Driving organizational mission and purpose: It is imperative to actively engage employees to the mission, values and purpose of the organization. Clarity of communication and engaging people to strategy helps them link to the larger perspective and therefore bolster connect to the organization.

3. Being a caring organization: A critical part of keeping employees engaged is prioritizing ways of helping employees focus on their development, engagement and wellness. Especially post pandemic, wellbeing and creating a sense of belongingness have become a priority. While fun at work may seem trivial and often provides fodder to social media memes, meaningful engagement interventions are important in bolstering camaraderie amidst employees and also go a long way in connecting people to the organization.

4. Active listening: Actively and consistently seeking employee feedback and working on the inputs provided has a positive impact on culture improvement as well as the company’s success. HR must create platforms or channels wherein employees can express their feedback and ideas without the fear of judgement or adverse consequences. Creating regular or pre-determined feedback sessions apart from the annual appraisal can make way for open, honest communication about the organization, employee performance, and growth opportunities.

5. Value diverse perspectives: In today’s world, innovation has become key to disrupting any marketplace. This requires organisations to drive a culture of innovation, wherein ideas and experimentation even at the cost of failure is rewarded. This also includes accepting diverse perspectives from people as they go a long way in effective decision making and problem solving. Such a culture can be driven by creating diverse teams where ideas are valued, experimentation and innovation are encouraged.

Creating an emotional connect with the organization has proven to have positive impact on the longevity of the workforce and the overall company culture. These engagement tools (and there are many more) provide a great way to show employees that the organization cares about their personal values, growth, wellbeing, and their contribution to the company. As workplaces continue to evolve, engagement will take centre stage in employee recruitment, performance and retention propositions.

The author, Saba Adil, is Chief Human Resources Officer at Edelweiss Life Insurance.

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