7 ways to attract, engage and retain IT talent
Pandemic, hybrid working, social justice movements, artificial intelligence (AI), and social media have been altering the way businesses work and, more importantly, how the employees work.
The year 2020 was the best testimony of a rapidly changing work environment and dynamic business priorities. But, says Yash Mehta, an Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data Science specialist, what made the year more enlightening was the focus on the employee experience.
Employee experience has been in the limelight ever since distributed working made it hard to ‘connect’ employees effectively. With remote work culture also influencing mental well-being, the necessity to formulate employee engagement methods to motivate employees is now more important than ever before. This article explores seven ways to improve IT employee engagement within the organisation and improve their productivity.
7 ways to build an engaging work environment
Employee engagement is a concept that deals with the emotional connection an employee feels towards the organisation employing them. While the concept has been around for a few years, it took centre stage when remote working became a norm during the pandemic.
Interestingly, this period saw a rise in the usage of employee monitoring software to track the activities of employees and get details about their working hours. But the realisation that the hours worked cannot be used to quantify productivity led employers to search for more engagement-boosting methods. Let us now take a look at the seven trending methods that are revolutionising the human resource industry:
The mandatory goal – employee-first culture
A company culture that makes every employee feel cared for is the primary engagement goal of HR. Premium companies are now engaging HR to revamp their company culture and avoid losing their best talents. As industries are gaining more insights into employees’ personal lives, employers are strategising programmes to support employees with their mental well-being.
A recent human resource (HR) survey report affirmed that a 23% increase in the mental and physical health of employees was achieved as a result of employers opting for a change in the company culture. This means an employee-first culture where employees are supported mentally and financially can lead to more satisfied and engaged employees.
Embracing location/timing work flexibility
As 2020 proved to be a stellar year with remote working attributing to maximum productivity, flexibility has become a key engagement factor for the future. About 76% of the remote workforce was reported to exhibit better productivity at home than at offices. Fewer distractions, less commute time, and fewer office conundrums have made remote working a coveted work culture for millennial employees.
With 60% of the global workforce gaining greater productivity through remote working, corporate works now require less physical presence and more virtual presence. Also, the increasing demands of employees are also making flexibility a major employee experience goal for 2021 and beyond.
Time flexibility trends are also expected to create a wave of change in the coming years. Employees are observed to get engaged with work better when they are allowed to be flexible with their working hours. In short, work output will be the gauging factor for employee productivity in the future.
Cloud technology and engagement
Finally, the cloud has found its place in almost all major HR processes. According to a 2019 report, about 75% of companies have at least one of their HR processes on the cloud. Investments in cloud technology have become an inevitable proposition for HR, as more and more employees are engaged remotely.
From employee tracking software to employee recognition tools, organisations can produce better results and offer fabulous employee experiences with cloud technology. The trend will witness a sporadic rise in the coming years, and the companies need to leverage the right cloud tools.
Automating engagement with AI and ML
Artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) have already established their stance in the industry with efficient HR tools. HR can now promote efficient communication and personalised action with AI tools that are garnering a good return on investment (ROI). Employee engagement has been witnessing a huge stride forward with analytics-driven information guiding the HR team. This further helps to improve the working condition of the employees. The influx of AI and ML will, without a doubt, make great changes in employee experience in the coming years.
Empathy – a significant engagement goal
As technology’s influx in HR is unbelievably quick and vast, it is important to be mindful of the humane element that might go missing while building newer engagement techniques. The right blend of technology and empathy is the need of the hour. Sources cite that 96% of employees believe empathy is a vital human emotion they expect from an organisation. The emotional connection can build a sense of belongingness to the company and keep the employees engaged. Also, this can further help in employee retention.
Gender neutrality, equality and inclusivity
Companies promoting gender neutrality and inclusivity are likely to create greater employee engagement than those that stick to racial or gender disparities in their workspaces. Including people from various traditions, locations, and ethnicities, would mean bringing in more perspectives and innovative ideas. Organisations that make efforts to create a sense of belonging among employees would definitely reap more benefits with an engaged and creative workforce.
This also calls for greater attention to creating a workspace where women are treated equally. Laws to protect women from workplace harassment and discrimination must be implemented in companies. Constructive steps that encourage inclusivity will be another major step companies can adopt to encourage employee engagement.
Give growth opportunities to employees
On-the-job training and career enhancement programmes are the most anticipated employee engagement measures adopted by companies. Surveys cite that 47% of employees look forward to better career opportunities in their present job. This is also considered as one of the top motivation factors that retain the best talents. Investments in career-enhancing programs and employee recognition measures can also bring in better productivity.
Employee engagement trends will keep on evolving as time progresses. To keep up with it, companies must pay attention to these changes and ensure that they offer their employees a great working environment that makes them love their job and stay committed to it.
The author is Yash Mehta, an Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data Science specialist.