Companies can engage and retain employees by valuing them and prioritizing their needs.
Nearly three years after the pandemic started and transformed the work world, leaders continue to wrestle with how to engage and retain employees. Through its "Empowered Employees: Managing and Retaining Them in the New, Hybrid Workplace" study, Dale Carnegie and Associates offers employers the tools to do just that.
The study surveyed more than 6,500 full-time global workers about workplace emotions and culture. One of the key findings is how much employees have altered their work-life balance priorities. "Working remotely during the pandemic, employees felt empowered to focus more on their human needs," the report states. "Our survey says that they are rejecting workplace cultures they perceive as indifferent to their needs and those that fail to engage them meaningfully in their work." If an organization doesn't meet employees' needs to find that balance, workers will leave for a company that does.
"Our research indicates that when leadership builds human-centered systems that make employees feel confident, secure, and hopeful within the organization, they'll see a significant shift in employee satisfaction and engagement," says Joe Hart, president and CEO of Dale Carnegie and Associates. "To grow employee engagement, every level of leadership needs to forge a genuine emotional connection between employees and the organization."
The study outlines components to developing human-centered engagement, including leadership establishing strategies that align with employees' needs, the C-suite understanding the challenges staff face, employees feeling confident in their immediate supervisors, managers prioritizing workers' emotional well-being, and supervisors having the tools to build strong teams. Training and learning opportunities are also important, specifically personalized training.
"Empowered employees value training tailored to their specific needs and training [that] isn't a one-size-fits-all initiative," the report states. "They also show loyalty to employers that make them feel valued." Research shows that staff who feel valued work harder and that three-quarters would recommend others collaborate with the business.
The report concludes, "Leaders must consider workers' human needs right along with the needs of the organization. Flexibility and empathy will go a long way toward setting up employees—and the organizations for which they work—for meaningful long-term success."