The key to business survival in 2022? Treat your people like people.
From inflation to rising costs, several issues are making 2022 a challenge for businesses to stay afloat—not least among these issues is finding and retaining quality people.
Between record numbers of employees leaving their jobs as part of “The Great Resignation” and talent shortages in many key specialties, retaining talent is one of the key factors businesses need to do to survive in 2022 and beyond.
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reported that it costs, on average, 6-9 months of an employee’s salary to replace him or her, but, more than just hiring and onboarding costs, employee turnover causes greater challenges for businesses, such as keeping up with training demands, maintaining company culture, sustaining productivity levels, and generally keeping the rest of the current workforce engaged.
Yesterday’s solutions bred today’s problems
Remember when remote work was supposed to lead us into a wonderful future filled with flexibility and efficiency?
Well, it certainly gave us more flexibility, but it also brought with it new and unique challenges.
Prior to 2020, virtual meetings were a novelty. Now we’re spending over 2.7 billion minutes in online meetings every day—and this has had profound effects on our workplace culture.
Today, 73% of employees agree that genuine collaboration takes more effort and planning than it did before March 2020, and more than two-thirds of our employees (67%) expressed difficulty in creating and maintaining meaningful connections with their coworkers in our new online work world.
And, when employees feel less connected to their co-workers, they feel less connected to their company as well.
Hybrid work was positioned to fix this problem, but it brought with it its own issues.
Hybrid workers currently report the highest levels of burnout from having to manage two different work setups, and they also suffer from the fear of missing out (with 66% of hybrid employees feeling like they’re missing out on opportunities for collaboration and important “hallway discussions” when they’re not in the office).
Clearly, workplace flexibility, by itself, isn’t the answer.
Could there be something bigger than work location affecting our people’s happiness?
First, let’s dig deeper to understand why our people are really struggling.
From our latest survey, 82% of employees reported that they were more motivated to work on a project/program—and 84% of employees found it easier to do their best work—when they felt close to their team.
Furthermore, 71% of employees agreed that, in order to learn something new or change their thinking (important success criteria for an HR program), they need to discuss it with someone.
However, 69% of employees reported that they don’t feel very connected to their coworkers today.
Human connection is vital to our employees doing their best work and feeling engaged while doing it—this lack of connection is partially why ‘The Great Resignation’ is happening.
So, it’s not workplace flexibility our people are craving, what is it?
How can we help our employees regain that lost sense of human connection?
Ok, we’ve seen that the survival of our businesses is directly tied to keeping our employees happy and engaged, and the key to this employee engagement is found in them feeling a personal connection to their company’s mission and their co-workers.
But, while we can’t change the way individual employees communicate with each other, there’s a lot we can do to help influence and foster true connection between co-workers and generally help treat our people more like people.
At Enboarder, we’ve summed this up into the four points of our Engagement Model.
It’s the culmination of the latest research and findings in behavioral psychology around the science of influence, persuasion, and motivation to help your employees regain the human connection that’s been lost.
…and it looks a little something like this:
Nothing makes our people feel less engaged than stale messaging, so it’s vital that we communicate with our employees on a personal level with personalized and unique messaging that feels like it was written for humans, by humans.
This means we need to ditch the jargon and generic bulk messaging, use messaging that’s more friendly, fun, and empathetic, and be sure we include the “why” behind our requests to help our people understand why our HR programs and initiatives are important for their growth, happiness, and development.
Without something to bring them together, people naturally drift apart.
One awesome tool to help encourage engagement and communication is a Nudge—A small, bite-sized bit of relevant communication delivered at the right time.
So, use nudges to remind managers and work buddies to reach out periodically to their direct reports and co-workers to make sure they’re feeling connected and appreciated.
While it’s theoretically easier now to connect with anyone around the world than it was any time before, finding the time to hop on one more Zoom call is increasingly more difficult.
Make it easier for your people to establish these personal connections with their peers by blocking off dedicated time and/or creating workplace buddy systems.
…This is the reason why we’re here, right?
The connection we’re going for goes beyond just interpersonal connection—we also need to ensure our people feel a connection with the mission and values of our company.
A strong sense of purpose will help keep them engaged and motivated, so be sure you tie your requests to the mission, vision and values of the company to help paint the bigger picture.
It’s not about tactics. It’s about people.
The four points we mentioned above are incredibly effective, but only if they’re done the right way—with your people in mind.
Before you hit send, make sure you view every message, every program, and every process makes sense and is appealing to your people.
People can sense when you’ve built something with them in mind, so be sure to consider your people’s thoughts, motivations, and even their workload at every step of your implementation.
Don’t just survive 2022. Thrive.
So, which companies will survive 2022?
It’s the companies who learn to create a human-centric workplace and treat their people like people. These will be the companies who consistently deliver value for their customers instead of spinning their wheels, trying to maintain their dwindling profits and company culture with a revolving door in their people department.
We say our people are our most valuable resource. It’s time we prove it.
➡️ For the rest of the findings from our full research report - Click here.