Employee Engagement at its Best -What Next?

·4-min read

Overview: History is replete with testimonies of Humankind demonstrating its spirit, ingenuity and gritduring times of crisis. For the first time since 2003, when the Great Place to Work® survey began in India with a mission to 'Make India a Great Place to Work FORALL', the average Trust score for all participating organizations has crossed 80.

During the largest humanitarian crisis of modern times, Corporate India has gone out of its way to offer remarkable support and care to its people. This has resulted in a significant rise in employee trust, as the Great Place to Work® study 2021 shows.In 2021, at 6.5%, we witness the highest ever year on year increase in India Inc's history.

'Rest' is fast catching up - but the 'Best' Maintains its Edge where it Matters the Most.

The gap between the Bestand the Rest of the workplaces has become narrowest ever, at 10%.

About a third of the survey items show the gap to be less than 10%. However, the Best maintains its edge where it matters the most– Fairness, Care, Recognition, Career Development, and Management Reliability. These aspects of Employee Trust, on average, show more than a 13% difference.

What Worked Well: Agility, Communication and Care Agility and adaptability are essential to manoeuvre through a time of change. It takes a great deal of flexibility, openness and willingness to be able to respond to such unpredictable situations. On average, 85% of employees believe that organizations in India have shown the ability to be flexible and adaptable during this change. However, the Best organizations have been far more agile, as 91% of the employees from these organisations believe people have been quick to adapt to changes that are needed for the organization’s success.

Apart from being agile, having clear and consistent communication is vital to successfully navigate through change. It provides clarity and direction in uncertain and ambiguous times. Management of participating organizations have communicated well and kept their teams up to date; they have also delivered on promises. This has heightened a sense of trust amongst the employees. Perception around Communication and ManagementReliability have improved by 6% and 10% respectively over the last year.

Employee Benefits is one aspect where we observe a significant improvement – with feedback on 'We have special and unique benefits.' increasing by 9 %. Most, if not all, organizations have revamped their benefit programs to take care of the unique needs of their people. Even the Rest has seena remarkable jump of 10% in this area. The Best, however, continues to outperform the Rest by 22%.

Lastly, Management has gone out of their way to provide support andcare to their employees. On average, 81% of employees believe that management has fostered a caring environment.

Employees Value Career and Collaboration Opportunities Our analysis of employee comments brings out career and collaboration as the most crucial factors. Organizations in India have done a commendable job in enhancing employee experience by 5 – 9 %, as opposed to the Global view regarding the difficulty of managing these aspects.

We also see a clear lead of Best Companies by 16% in involving employees in decision making that affects their job and work environment. This stays true even when 'Rest' scores have improved by 8% over last year.

What Next? Is there a Burnout Risk? Employees that belong to a younger age group show high sign of stress and possible burnout risk. Using a nine-item composite analysis of Burnout Index, we find that 15% of employees aged less than 35 years, among the 'Rest', face Burnout risk (against an impressive 7% among the 'Best'.) Therefore, employee Well-being will need to be among the critical action areas for most organizations.

Modify People Practices for a Hybrid Workplace: More than 80% of respondents to our recent poll (May 2021 Social Media Poll by Great Place to Work®) have said that the organizations will need to invest in significant culture change to remain effective in the new normal of Hybrid Workplaces.

This will need a combination of modified People Practices – particularly in Collaboration, Career Growth, Care and Fairness – supported by appropriate changes in Leadership Style.

Corporate India in 2021 has shown great promise – Making India a Great Place to Work FORALL is no more an unattainable dream. It is all about sustaining the spirit beyond times of crisis.

Watch India's Best Companies to Work For 2021 - TOP 10 Awards & Leadership Message Check out - The Economic Times India’s Best Companies to Work For 2021 Flipbook Author: Anantadeb Bandyopadhyay, Senior Associate, Great Place to Work® Institute, India Supported by: Gurab Virk, Rohit Radhakrishnan, Suraj Jadhav PWR PWR

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