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Decoding employee engagement - fair experiences for all 

Business, in the final analysis, is about people. But what about the people who make your business - the ones sometimes rather clinically referred to as a ‘workforce’, more metaphorically as ‘human capital’, and in simpler terms, your employees? Employees are the people that power a business and can make it or break it. A skilled, passionate team that is committed to the long haul can take a business to new vistas of success. A workplace plagued with poor communication, dissatisfaction, and high attrition rates can slow down and even stall business growth.  

A challenging time, and vocal employees

Then, there’s the fact that recent developments in our unpredictable world have added to the inherent challenges of finding and keeping the best talent. The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it a global atmosphere of anxiety and uncertainty. Many industries were able to respond to this by switching to Work From Home (WFH) and remote teaming. Now, as the ground realities shift again, employers and employees alike are looking to find the right fit to move forward.  

At the same time, challenges to the global economy have resulted in waves of layoffs in many sectors, including the highly visible tech and startup domains. Add to this the mindset of the younger generations of employees demanding more of organisations of their citizenship role- more vocal about their experiences, digital natives who are always logged-on, and willing to share about their feelings regarding work, life, and work-life balance. Driven by a need for self-actualisation and self-expression, ethical consistency is always on their radar. Dissatisfaction with work is posted on multiple platforms and shared across the internet, with potentially massive ripple effects on a business’ reputation and performance, as multiple stakeholders including investors, customers, vendors and potential candidates, among others, absorb the surrounding online chatter about a business.  

Employee engagement: is it the complete picture?

So how do you keep track of employee mood and morale? For some time now, employee engagement has been the rubric under which businesses have approached this challenge. Associated to it, the most pervasive gauge for employee retention exercises across industries has been employee engagement surveys. It has pointed to businesses that are more likely to retain employees and get better results out of them. Employee engagement questionnaires are offered as a service by several specialized employee engagement and consulting firms.  

But do employee engagement surveys and questionnaires serve as anything more than a symptomatic description? Does engagement alone cover aspects of what matter most to employees? If so, why do we still see employee turnover prevailing even when engagement scores look good? It is becoming clear that a nuanced diagnostic approach, rather than a symptomatic dipstick, must delve into the experiences of employees in a more holistic manner. Getting to the root of how your employees feel means understanding the experiences they have at work. With this experiential focus in mind, it rapidly becomes evident that the crux of what makes a workplace attractive to an employee are experiences centred around them feeling welcome, included, heard, cared for and valued- all of this is at the heart of Fair Experiences.  

A new framework: fair experiences

All the reasons that make employees stall in their careers, deliver less than their best, leave their job, and disseminate negative opinions about a business, boil down to how fairly they feel the business treated them. Fair experience is the key driver in building trust - perhaps the most vital capital a business can possess - and encourages an employee to bring their best performance to the job, integrate fully into a team, and envision a future of mutual growth and respect for their employer.   

At this point you might be thinking that fairness is an abstract concept, hard to measure, hard to deliver on. The good news is that fairness can actually be broken down to half a dozen concrete dimensions, which encompasses inclusion, transparency, dignity, consistency, equity and delivering value as promised. A new discovery tool, one that accounts for these dimensions of fair experiences, can help you gain a significantly clearer picture of your employees’ experiences with your business from their lens on what matters most. This allows you to deliver employee experiences that are aligned to expectations of the brand’s promise adding more sustenance and strength to your organisation’s culture. Thereby transforming your employee into partners who are steadfast even during challenging times and co-creators of mutual value.  

Are you interested in learning more. Fair Stakeholder Experiences, FSx is at the heart of building and strengthening trustworthy stakeholder relationships?  The lack of it is why all of us opt out of any engagement.

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