Employee engagement: the challenge for companies in 2020

In the span of just 20 years, the growth of digital tools has completely changed our daily habits in everything from our purchases to how we work. Today, we live in a connected, digital, omni-channel, engaged world. Moreover, we keep the same reflexes and preferences, whether we’re in a consumer role or employee role.

In three quarters of cases, transformation projects do not succeed because the employees are not engaged. Indeed, it is difficult for employees to get invested in a transformation project when their company does not give them the desire or confidence to do so. While in their daily lives workers may feel valued by their favorite brands and be regularly rewarded as consumers, the same is not necessarily true in the workplace. And there’s evidence of this: according to a Gallup survey (State of the Global Workplace, 2018 report), only 6% of employees in France say that they are “engaged at work.”

To give employees the desire to invest in a transformation project, why not change your strategy by using a consumer approach? In other words, treat your employees like actual customers at all levels (career pathways, digital environment, etc.). Le Hub La Poste has identified three major trends that brands shouldn’t ignore in 2020. They can be seen as three mechanisms that companies can use to promote their customer experience… as well as their employee experience. So, what are these mechanisms? How can they be used to get employees engaged in a transformation project?

1/ Offer a unique digital experience

When a customer is “engaged” with a company, they exchange money for goods and services. Similarly, an engaged employee will buy in with goodwill and trust. These are valuable commodities: they are what will motivate your teams to get invested in the change within their company. Engaged employees also have a positive impact on the company’s brand image.

Promoting the employee experience like you do the customer experience is now an essential step for successful change management. To give employees the same experience at work that they would find as consumers, it is crucial to create an effective, personalized work environment that rises to the level of the tools they use in their daily lives (ergonomic interfaces, smartphone apps, etc.).

There are now intuitive, multifaceted business tools inspired by everyday consumer experiences. The InsideBoard change-management digital platform applies this logic by using artificial intelligence to push the right content to the right person at the right moment. The digital experience delivered to employees rises to their expectations and the mechanisms for engagement (discussions and sharing with their community, personalized recommendations, learning made fun, etc.) help sustain interest in the long term.

2/ Empowerment of employees

When a product doesn’t work for them, consumers are free to express their discontent to customer service. When this is not the case, they will disengage from the brand and stop buying its products. This same mechanism also applies to employee-consumers: if they are not fans of a change and don’t feel listened to, a climate of mistrust of the company will take hold and the transformation project will fail.

The company must take into account the aspirations of employees, as they do for their consumers. There must be a focus on employee well-being, restoring their confidence and giving them the desire to get invested. Professional fulfillment must be encouraged: in particular, this involves establishing personalized opportunities for skill building.

To get employees engaged in the company, they must be able to proactively manage those opportunities and develop their potential. For example, companies can offer an environment that enables employees to be independent and take initiative.

3/ Provide (or restore) a vision with meaning

As Steve Jobs once said, “a brand is simply trust.” Today, our purchase choices are no longer solely guided by the product or service involved. The notion of the citizen-consumer is emerging and is shining a light on consumers’ search for meaning. No matter the consumer’s age or social status, they now expect that brands have meaning by offering a commitment or a promise. While, in order to build consumer loyalty, companies must restore value and meaning to what they produce, the same is true for employees when it comes to a transformation project. The challenge is to put employees’ roles and duties at the heart of a comprehensive corporate vision.

For brands, this challenge has two sides to it: they must successfully share their values and beliefs with consumers, as well as with their employees. Indeed, individuals want to find meaning in their work just like they do in their purchases. This is especially true for millennials, who are constantly asking, “what do you stand for?” ». To get them engaged in the company, you must fuel their sense of pride and belonging; you must provide them with a vision.

“Human beings need a vision and a ‘why’ to move forward. The project must be linked to the company’s DNA, as well as to external challenges,” Michaël Bentolila, CEO & co-founder of InsideBoard.

In the context of a transformation project, it is essential that each employee be able to understand what’s at stake and the need for the coming changes. In particular, this means involving them in the decision-making process and providing responses that value both individual and collective interests. To get employees on board, there are many mechanisms that rely on engagement: challenges, skill-building opportunities, keeping employees informed, communicating about the project, and more. The goal is to give employees the desire to get engaged in the transformation project by allowing them to do so with the mechanism that works best for them.

“InsideBoard is truly like a part of our team that stands behind every Adecco employee,” Sophie Jouglet, CRM Manager, The Adecco Group.

Still, it’s difficult to get all employees to agree on a single vision when the company has a large workforce. Only a digital platform like InsideBoard will allow big companies to create a team spirit. InsideBoard does this by bringing together all of the key mechanisms for employee engagement in a single place.