Already a growing priority for communications leaders, COVID has pushed employee engagement to the forefront, as organisations wrestled with the challenges of working from home. Research by Nanyang Technological University highlighted the different approaches to employee engagement and new emerging trends, many of which have been accelerated due to COVID.
Telum spoke to Stephen Forshaw, Head, Public Affairs at Temasek Holdings, Selvi R, Communications Leader, Singapore & ASEAN at IBM,
Delicia Tan-Seet, Managing Director at Edelman and Ferry de Bakker, Adjunct Lecturer, Wee Kim Wee School of Communications and Information, Nanyang Technological University to explore the findings of the report, share their own employee engagement experiences, discuss the future of the workplace and communication tactics to drive engagement.
Key highlights include:
- "What works best is the guidance and leadership of the CEO, and the question of can two departments, HR and communications, really collaborate to support what the CEO wants to do," says Ferry de Bakker when asked about best practice in owning employee engagement.
- "Having a little bit of purpose built into the work that we do was a lot more fulfilling for the people during these crazy times," Delicia Tan speaking on organisations that contributed to the community as a motivator to deliver the day to day.
- "We have to look at the demographics of employees, what works for them and look at the channels...have the channels as possible ways to reach out to the various communities," Selvi R, on communicating across generation gap.
- On adjusting to the virtual workplace new normal, Stephen Forshaw says, "We have to become more adaptable, and it's taking a toll on people as organisations are being more conscious of the mental health of our people, and we are trying various things for team bonding as to get our people to socialise and to recreate the old-fashion water cooler talk."
- Stephen also says, "Engagement is not just about talking, it's also about listening as it is a two-way conversation, so it's important for the employees to seize the initiative and build their own engagement channels just as much that responsibility is on the company to do so," when asked about how the modes of employee engagement has changed over the pandemic.