How to optimize employee engagement in teleworking? 

We are going through a global commitment crisis. With serious repercussions on the global economy.

The disengagement would cost 14,500 euros per year and per employee according to the conclusions of the 2019 study of the IBET (index of well-being at work) carried out by APICIL and Mozart Consulting.

And the problem is not new. The Gallup Institute observes that the level of engagement has tended to decrease in the world since the beginning of the 2000s. In its most recent study (State of the Global Workplace, 2021 Report), Gallup notes that 26% of French consider themselves to be actively disengaged at work.

The health crisis and more recently the Great Resignation observed in the United States and now in Europe strained work commitment. With the distance of teleworking now well established, companies must adapt, drastically change their organization and their way of managing. Some, jostled and destabilized, have taken up the themes of benevolence and QWL with great support from the polls. But by confusing happiness and commitment to work, isn't there a risk of discouraging employees from being actors in their development and of curbing the engine of performance?

In this context, two questions arise: What are we talking about when we talk about commitment to work? What levers can be used to promote employee engagement in a now hybrid world of work? 

We will try to answer these questions in this article.

How to define commitment?

The question of the definition of commitment is fundamental. Because a committed employee will demonstrate motivation, loyalty and fidelity. He will also experience a greater sense of belonging to his company and the desire to progress. 

Conversely, employee disengagement is often synonymous with:

What is commitment?

Then, what commitment are we talking about?

If we stick to the definition of the National Association of Human Resources Directors (ANDRH), commitment takes on a particular meaning. It is "all the actions of an employee that go beyond the contribution required by the employment contract, which reinforces the feeling of contributing to a common project, in accordance with the values ​​of the company.

This definition highlights two notions closely linked to commitment

Flashbrand Engagement

At Flashbrand, we view engagement as the quality of an employee's enthusiasm, presence and willingness to be proactive when it comes to having a positive impact on their organization.

At the heart of the engagement process, motivation therefore plays a key role.

Now, what are the reasons that push a person to be motivated, that is to say to act?

In-depth studies in social psychology, fueled more recently by work in neuroeconomics (a branch of behavioral economics), distinguish two types of motivation:

This type of motivation feeds mainly on the couple pleasure-punishment. Thanks to two well-known levers: the carrot and the stick.

The employee finds his energy sometimes in fear (linked to a possible job loss or a reprimand), sometimes in the lure of gain (salary, bonus, commissions)

Work more to earn more ? It now seems clear that financial incentives alone produce limited effects on increasing efforts to achieve a goal. And therefore on the increase in performance.

While dashboards, objectives, quotas and bonuses are useful, they are not enough

Intrinsic motivation is more the result of interest, pleasure and curiosity naturally provided by an activity.

It is based on values ​​of respect and trust. Prefers freedom and delegation to systematic control. Micro-management coaching. Collaboration in execution.

This internal motivation has a much greater impact on performance. An increase that can go up to 35%.

8 levers to develop the commitment of your employees

In a context of telework that is difficult to observe, generating isolation and hampering communication, managers are looking for solutions to manage remote work and generate commitment within their teams . Here is our advice:

This seems obvious. First, it involves respecting the legal aspects. Forcing a person to telecommute will not make them more productive and involved.

Then, by the means implemented. If you let your employees in telework fend for themselves to arrange their spaces and take care of their tools, you are not sending reassuring signals.

Some companies, for example, offer to mix working from home with coworking.

Above all, make sure to provide all the equipment your employees need to work from home. Ask them if they need any special accommodations, if the equipment is suitable for them and if their internet connection works well.

Attention to this kind of detail will put your employees in the best conditions to give the best of themselves.

According to a study by Harris Interactive, 65% of young French people consider culture and atmosphere at work to be the most important criterion in choosing a company, before salary.

Ditto for Josh Bersin. According to him, 95% of candidates place culture before remuneration.

The corporate culture is a reflection of your missions and your values, a common good for all those who are part of it. It does not belong to anyone in particular but everyone participates in it.

This intangible asset is all the more precious in a remote working context because it will unite teams, promote mutual aid and generate trust within your organization.

Precisely defining your values, communicating them and acting in accordance with them will be perceived as proof of reliability and transparency by your teams and will strengthen their commitment.

 If telework allows everyone to organize and produce more, it distances employees from each other. Many employees complain about the lack of interaction with their colleagues. Maintaining a collective then becomes a necessity. Not only to break the loneliness but to promote sharing and exchanges, essential to emulation and generators of the feeling of belonging to a group.

Creating regular group meetings will help set the pace and encourage everyone to express themselves. If you are in hybrid mode, split times must be part of working time. This can be in the form of formal meetings of course, but also in the form of more informal and light gatherings around a themed lunch, in a restaurant or an escape game.

If you are 100% remote, meetings are all the more necessary. You can use icebreakers such as quizzes or game-like animations to encourage participation and take the pulse of employee moods. There is also nothing to prevent bringing together people from your company in physical form from time to time, if possible, to break the routine and make human relationships more tangible and personal.

A study carried out by Georgetown University on more than 20,000 employees worldwide showed that more than 54% of employees do not feel respected by their manager.

Respect is the foundation of healthy relationships that encourage collaboration. No respect, no motivation.

Delegation is another very important skill for a manager to implement. Employees need enough freedom to do their job the way they feel and take initiative...

It can have a huge impact on employee performance.

Maintaining regular contact with your employees is vital. Both for managers and employees. To do this, make feedback continuous and accessible in real time, whether prompted or not by the practice of feedback and check-in.

This will allow you to anticipate and be attentive to everyone's needs. An employee may need help or simply want to be listened to. A manager must be able to follow the progress of his teams in real time and nurture the relationship on a daily basis.

The manager coach is at the heart of the development of individual and collective performance. He knows how to empower his teams and support his collaborators when they need it. Both morally and emotionally as well as instrumentally.

Distributing tasks, listening, training employees to better engage them, giving meaning to specific actions, being fair in one's relationship with others, expressing oneself clearly and precisely... these are some of the key skills of the manager-coach capable of managing performance from a distance.

Working from home requires considerable autonomy. For an employee to remain productive and efficient, support from HR and managers is necessary.

Be transparent about what you expect from your employees by setting clear expectations and objectives (well-defined work rhythm, quantifiable objectives). The implementation of OKR with flexible deadlines will allow you to gain in agility and efficiency.

A platform like Flashbrand makes it possible to optimize internal processes (holidays, working time, expense reports, etc.) while improving the fluidity of exchanges.