Employee Engagement in Turbulent Times

When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute. - Simon Sinek

In today’s fast-changing business environment, retaining talent is a paramount challenge for most organisations. Due to the buoyant job market and the high rate of attrition that characterize the IT sector in India, investing in employee engagement actually helps!

An organisation should focus on creating an environment that fosters cooperation, collaboration and camaraderie. As employees spend most of their waking hours at work, the organisation should help creating a fun environment at work. Engaged employees help by being -

  • More efficient and productive.
  • Caring about the future of the company and willing to invest to see the organization succeeds.
  • Passionate about work and feel a profound connection to the company.
  • Creative and innovative.

The recent Covid times have impacted revenue, client engagement, new clients & projects, and employee productivity. Employee engagement and retention has emerged as the worst-hit aspect of organisations in the technology sector

When it comes to employee engagement, organisations and employees are facing the challenges of lack of sense of association, reduced interconnectedness, communication, team collaboration, and work-life balance. The earlier policy of Hire and Fire has come under severe criticism. The disengagement or being asked to resign when on bench has also widened the gap between the employer and employee.

In the information technology industry vertical, employees have begun to quit their jobs, causing the unprecedented problem of employee turnover, and the recent phenomenon of “Great Resignation” makes it evident. This ongoing crisis has created a large supply-demand imbalance as companies fail to meet their talent needs.

The pandemic stress has increased dramatically as employees work from home, and has highlighted the need to focus on the mental health and well-being of employees.

Managing, retaining, and engaging the workforce in the IT sector has become a daunting task for any Human Resource Department.

In this connected world, businesses across the globe are sensitive to competitive challenges of demanding customers, technological innovation, and economic slowdown that debilitates their overall performance.

Organisational restructuring in the form of downsizing or workforce reduction are immediate crisis response strategies. Although downsizing is a cost reduction measure, it has a detrimental impact on a firm leading to survivor syndrome, employee disengagement, and employer branding. Survivor syndrome reduces morale, trust, and job security amongst employees.

The insecurity results from a fear of not meeting expected performance standards in the redesigned organisational structure. Demotivation, lack of trust in superiors, and low commitment impede the survivors’ overall performance. They perceive injustice in performance appraisal, reward allocation, learning opportunities, career growth, and communication leading to increase of disengagement, absenteeism, and attrition.

The covenants that help the better employee engagement are:
  • Resonant leadership positively associated.
  • Internal corporate communication
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Continuous learning

To help the employee engagement, new roles are being fostered, i.e., Chief People’s Officer(CPO), Chief Happiness Officer(CHO), Chief Games Officer(CGO), etc.

The bottom line: The future of any businesses relies on a workforce that’s engaged and supported. A workforce healthy and happy would be more productive, innovative and creative to sustain and grow further.