VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) is a term that seems more relevant now than ever before. It describes the constant, unpredictable change that is beginning to feel normal in our everyday lives and personal finances, as well as the business world.
Enhancing your business agility and optimising your processes are critical to success in this VUCA environment. But understandably, you may be wary of changes that prove unsettling or disruptive for employees; so how can you solve your organisation’s challenging business problems and adapt to new ways of working to thrive in today’s world, whilst also keeping valued employees onboard?
Employee engagement – critical to your success
For years, employee engagement seemed to be a “nice to have” concept, but as the war for talent heats up it is fast becoming a critical success factor.
The Microsoft 2022 Work Trend Index indicates that 43% of employees are somewhat or extremely likely to consider changing jobs in the coming year1. Alongside this is the growing phenomenon of “quiet quitting”, where employees turn up but mentally dis-engage, resulting in an unproductive workforce that slowly but surely moves towards more resignations. Gallup has clearly evidenced this link between employee engagement and retention, finding that highly engaged business units/teams achieved 24% lower employee turnover compared to other less engaged teams in the same organisation2.
However, the evidence tells us that despite efforts spent on communications, surveys and team meetings, many organisations are in fact yet to achieve genuine employee engagement. In the recent 2022 Global Workplace Report, Gallup showed that only 21% of employees feel engaged at work, and for European employees this figure drops to a mere 14% 3.
Create meaningful change
So how do we build genuine and meaningful employee engagement? Getting your employees involved in working together to solve problems boosts their sense of belonging. It reinforces the critical part they play in achieving organisational goals and overcoming challenges, thereby motivating them to stay and see the job through successfully.
So, although business optimisation or change projects can prove unsettling for employees, engaging them throughout the change journey provides an excellent opportunity to build positive experiences that drive productivity and retention.
At CGI, we see the power of effective employee engagement firsthand whilst supporting our clients’ teams throughout the process of business change. We help people work together to solve problems, understand what planned change means for them and better apply change in their context.
Based upon our experience in this area, here are some key considerations that will help any organisation achieve business optimisation and employee satisfaction in our VUCA world:
- People and organisational change has matured as a profession, with recognised, credible accreditation and certification bodies such as CMI, APMG and Prosci providing guidance to help you create meaningful and sustainable change.
- Research undertaken by the likes of Prosci, the Kotter Institute and Gallup provides robust evidence on how to achieve successful engagement and reliable, de-risked change.
- Many new tools and programmes can support your valued employees with personal change and engagement in the workplace. MindNavigator is a good example, combining personal reflection online with team-based discussions.
- The rise of employee experience systems such as Viva, Workplace and Trickle offer increasingly engaging and useful toolsets for businesses to communicate with employees and foster a sense of belonging to build a future together. Integrating other employee systems into these also provides opportunities for tracking to help proactively manage employee experience and retention.
How we can help
Are you looking for a partner to support your organisation and employees through a change journey? Perhaps you’ve read the above list of recommendations and feel you have a lot to consider, but you don’t know where to begin?
Our People and Organisational Change team are here to help you. Our people-focused approach to business change will help you consider your organisation’s challenges, plan the best solutions, and effectively implement them whilst supporting your employees every step along the way, so you can achieve your business goals and optimisation whilst keeping your employees onboard.
To find out more about how we can help drive your organisation’s success, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, or you can read our People and Organisational Change Advisory brochure.
2 State of the Global Workplace - Gallup Report (2017)