When the pandemic hit, remote work was a new phenomenon. Nearly three years later, having the option to work remotely is a non-negotiable for the majority of employees. But this new reality doesn't mean that remote workers are happy and engaged.
Feeling heard, valued and understood are the trifecta to fulfilled remote employees, but the only way to deliver on these fundamentals is by sourcing regular feedback and implementing the suggestions. Employees need to be given the opportunity to voice their hopes and dreams, as well as their pessimism and frustrations.
Leaders must evolve with the times
The workforce and how employees work have quickly evolved, with mental health challenges and stress surfacing more regularly than ever before. In the midst of this evolution, it's critical to have mechanisms in place for open and honest conversations with employees to ensure that their voices are being heard and that their needs are being addressed.
Now the question is: Are leaders shifting and evolving as well? With so much change and disruption facing the way we work, organizational leaders must step up to create work environments that engage their workers.
Taking the latest cue from Gallup, there's work to be done. According to Gallup's State of the Global Workplace: 2022 Report, only 21 percent of the world's full-time working population is engaged at work. The U.S. fares considerably better, at 33 percent engaged. But this still means that roughly 67 percent of American workers are disengaged. Workers worldwide are clamoring for meaningful work and fair pay, and leaders are failing to deliver it.
Having the tools to gather feedback is critical to take the pulse of the organization in a way that best serves employees. Open ears and open minds will lead to a committed team that feels heard and understood.
If you're in a leadership role, the first step to raising your engagement scores is to assess your own perception of how your employees feel. While employee opinion and engagement surveys and digital tools are helpful to your longer-term people strategy, you can start with this simple self-diagnosis to assess your own leadership effectiveness right now.
6 questions leaders should ask
If you can answer all six of these questions with a resounding "yes," you passed the engagement test and may be well on your way to helping create a high-performing workplace.
- Do your employees feel that you want to hear their input and ideas?
- Do your employees understand how their daily work helps accomplish the large goals of the organization?
- Do your employees communicate their ideas and speak to the vision, mission and larger goals of the organization when you are around?
- Do you frequently acknowledge and recognize your employee for their contribution in ways that matter most to each?
- Do your employees believe that you are committed to helping them develop and grow?
- Do you regularly offer career path guidance to your employees?
If these questions confirm what you already know to be true, be ready to take action with positive intent. Effective employee engagement at its core means wanting the best for your employees and equipping them to succeed. In turn, they will give you their best work.
This article was written by Marcel Schwantes from Inc. and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive Content Marketplace. Please direct all licensing questions to email@example.com.