The corona period brought some drastic changes. Consider, for example, homeworking, which is now (partly) the norm at many organisations. However, a recent European survey by international recruitment firm Robert Walters found that almost two-thirds of employees no longer feel engaged with their workplace as a result. Evi Melkenbeke, HR & Payroll Manager at Robert Walters, explains.
Shifts within organisations
Working from home used to be rare before, but since the corona pandemic it has become indispensable for most employees. "Moreover, a lot of shifts have happened within many organisations" says Evi. "Professionals have had some time to reflect on their career choices and maybe even look for a new challenge in the past two years. So there has been quite a bit of movement in the labour market, and that has had some consequences for the 'stayers'."
Consequences of leaving
A European survey by Robert Walters shows that - since the corona pandemic - as many as 63% of workers no longer feel committed to their workplace. Almost half say they do not even recognise their workplace since last year. "The main reason for this is the staff overflow (54%) in recent years. Half (49%) of employees who no longer recognise their organisation said it was because fewer and fewer people are coming to the office. The reduction in social activities outside office hours (43%) also made employees no longer recognise their organisations.
"These figures are somewhat surprising. After all, many employers have invested in work culture in recent years. Think of visually and ergonomically improving the office environment or redesigning the workplace to give employees a homey feel, in the hope of keeping employees happy," Evi explains.
With the possibility of flexible work, traditional tactics to build a more vibrant work culture no longer seem to work well. "The hybrid world of work and the resulting decline in office attendance is not having a good impact on employee engagement. Action must be taken quickly in order to keep employees engaged and attract new professionals. In doing so, pleasant working environments and modern offices are certainly not a bad idea, but more is needed" Evi knows.
How to increase employee engagement?
How do organisations ensure that employees stay on board for as long as possible? Because turnover is so high now, many employers are concerned. Evi: "Offering a pay rise can work in some cases, but it is not a long-term solution to ensure employee engagement. A better solution is to constantly communicate transparently, show appreciation and recognition, and make it clear that the organisation is keen to support their growth and development. As an employer, it is therefore essential to give staff sufficient attention, and make them feel important. That way, their role will also become clearer to them, and they will automatically become more involved in the organisation. In addition, it is also appropriate to actively listen to the input they give. The more hearing they get, the more engaged they will become."
Higher engagement means more loyalty
"Above all, employers should remember that employee engagement is a key driver of motivation and productivity at work, and thus also affects the success of the organisation. If one wants the employee to be more engaged, the organisation itself must also be more engaged with the employee. That way, loyalty will increase, fewer people will leave, and the 'stayers' will also stay motivated." concludes Evi.
If you're looking for new talent for your team, upload your vacancy or contact one of our offices. Download our digital Salary Survey tool to benchmark your team's salaries.