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Posted on 6 January 2023

The elusive essence of employee engagement

3 minute read

It’s Season 1, Episode 1 of ‘Friends’. A young cast are in Monica’s apartment, introducing the characters we’ll come to love over the next ten years. Needing to leave for work, Chandler plants the seed of a storyline that spans the entire series – his job.

‘Alright, kids. I’ve got to get to work. If I don’t input those numbers… it doesn’t make much of a difference.’

The delivery of the line, specifically the perfectly-timed pause, provides relatable humour. Because, like Chandler, 85% of the global workforce are disengaged.

Although we never really find out what Chandler does, we know he’s paid well, receives good benefits, and gets promoted to a senior leadership position. We also know he’s never truly happy in his role. But are people ever happy in their job if they feel they’re not making much of a difference?

Nearly 20 years on, why are so many employees still disengaged?

What’s eluding HR?

More recently, employee engagement has climbed the HR agenda as a growing focus. Now with over half a billion Google search results, there are an increasing number of statistics showcasing low engagement across the employee lifecycle, from recruitment to exit interview. This focus has been particularly magnified in a post-pandemic, remote world, leading to 47% of HR leaders naming employee engagement as a top priority for 2023. As the space continues to grow noisier exploring tools and solutions, HR leaders risk losing sight of the real essence behind what engages their people – emotion.

The emotional connection an employee has to their organisation defines their engagement. To underpin a strong connection, the employee needs to know they are making a difference.  Now more than ever, HR leaders must restore this emotional connection if they want to see a boost in their workforce engagement, productivity and retention.

Restoring connection

44% of employees leave their role due to inadequate recognition. For 2023, effective recognition schemes will be particularly key in restoring connection and motivation across vast, and often remote, teams. Many HR leaders default to believing the potential for reward drives this – but reward is the icing, and it’s the cake that matters.

Effective recognition tells a story, which is key to restoring and maintaining emotional connection across the workforce. Through this storytelling, employees understand clearly their own impact alongside big and small wins, which enhances their motivation and commitment. When their story is shared across the workforce, this is boosted even further.

Traditional recognition schemes are often ad-hoc and low impact. To truly deliver value, and at-scale, businesses need to rethink how they engage their people.

The power of technology

Rippl revolutionises these traditional programmes so your people’s stories are heard. Our platform blends personalised peer-to-peer recognition, nominations, and milestones into a company-wide digital community where employees feel at home.

Now more than ever, your people are your most critical asset to success – they need to know they do make much of a difference.

To find out how Rippl can transform your employee engagement, let’s chat.

Posted by
Phil Dunk