How are employee engagement and business performance related? What factors influence the level of happiness in the team and what methods help to increase it? Alena Angelcheva, HR-business partner at Becar Asset Management spoke about this in an interview with w2 conference Moscow.
The expert organized and conducted more than 400 trainings and workshops, which not only improved communication in the team, but also increased employee loyalty to the employer.
Read more about ways to increase the level of happiness in the team in the interview.
The interviewer: w2 conference Moscow (W2CM)
The respondent: Alena Angelcheva (A.A.)
W2CM: Why is it important to care for the happiness and well-being of employees? Explain your point of view.
A.A.: A happy and contented employee works more efficiently, fulfills his duties more broadly than it is in his job description, remains loyal to the company even when he receives a better offer from competitors, is a brand ambassador and organically promotes the company's products in his environment. We see and feel this in the results of our daily work.
The effectiveness of our contribution to the care of our employees is very eloquently confirmed by the fact that we meet the budget. Despite the fact that the hotel business has been hit hardest by the pandemic in our lives.
W2CM: How can employees' happiness levels affect their productivity and engagement, and business success?
A.A.: If 5-10 years ago either corporations or individual altruists spoke about the happiness and well-being of employees, now all spheres and categories of business are concerned with this topic. And it's very cool that the topic of the well-being of people at work has already become mainstream, and not something outstanding and extraordinary. Nevertheless, business representatives are always interested in numbers and ROI.
The most authoritative and popular way to measure engagement is the Gallup Q12 questionnaire, which consists of 12 key questions.
The 2020 Gallup Q12 (Gallup Q12® Meta-Analysis) found that businesses with high employee engagement were 20% more profitable, all other things being equal.
Today our new reality is that now it is not the company that chooses the employees, but the employees that choose the company. Now we live by the rules of job seekers. According to the trend overview from Softline, there are already three vacancies per candidate with the required level of competence. And by 2023, the number of people employed in the economy between the ages of 20 and 39 will be reduced by 25%. This means that the staff shortage will only intensify and the competition for attracting talent will only increase.
If a company wants to maintain and strengthen its position in the market, attracting and retaining the best minds and talents, today it is necessary to invest resources in its people, happiness, well-being and development of people, in promoting the HR brand.
W2CM: How can the employee happiness index be measured?
A.A.: I would single out four main methods of measuring employee happiness and satisfaction:
In my opinion, it best shows whether a person is happy in the company, and how much he is ready to recommend it as a place of work to his friends, relatives and acquaintances. This criterion evaluates just the eNPS index.
NPS and other metrics that measure customer satisfaction.
These metrics help to understand how satisfied employees are (or not), as this is the feeling they convey to customers.
Of course, you cannot ignore the employee turnover index – it speaks volumes about how well people are in the company. After all, if an employee is happy and satisfied, he retains his loyalty and is ready to ignore offers from outside for as long as possible.
Generally accepted questionnaires and local ones – for business tasks.
In addition, local situational surveys help to evaluate such complex concept as team happiness, which helps to understand what people like and what helps to feel better when doing their work, and what does not.
From the latest innovations within our company: we measure the "mood temperature" in the team using our bot, which asks employees how they are feeling on a weekly basis.
W2CM: What factors affect your level of happiness?
A.A.: The pandemic has made its own adjustments in our life. Over the past year or two, most teams have experienced an emotional carousel of teleworking and isolation, which has resulted in a loss of social contact, a sense of disconnection, and a loss of purpose and meaning. Difficult financial and economic situation in companies and in the world added some tension. Fear for health, one's life and the lives of loved ones has also become an integral part of the new reality.
With the appearance of these factors, we at Becar Asset Management have identified four areas of work to create a prosperous corporate environment:
Health and safety.
Strong community and supportive environment.
Development of talents and self-realization.
Finance and career.
We worked in these areas not only in relation to employees, but also with the involvement of hotel guests and residents of coworking spaces.
The results were very interesting: the already low power distance within the team was reduced, the loyalty and return on the part of employees increased, the level of trust on the part of guests and residents increased. We have all become one community, the line between employee and client has been erased.
It has become a new norm for us that guests themselves organize events inside the hotel, congratulate employees on their birthdays as close friends, and even help them in performing work tasks.
W2CM: Tell us about effective ways to improve employee happiness.
A.A.: I think it's not a secret for anyone that the hotel market suffered greatly with the advent of the pandemic. Despite this, the team of Vertical hotels has successfully launched two more hotels in Moscow and St. Petersburg over the past year and not only retained more than 80% of key employees, but also expanded the staff.
Here's what we have done over the past year to achieve these results:
Organized pulse surveys that helped us understand what we can improve in the lives of the children.
Involved all team members in the development of the strategy, where we together determined the vector of business development.
Moved 15% of the team up the career ladder.
Analyzed the market and adjusted salaries.
Conducted workshops and trainings on the development of emotional intelligence and improving the quality of service not only for external clients, but also for internal ones (our colleagues).
Organized cross-trainings from admins to managers.
Conducted teambuildings both inside hotels and coworking spaces and outside them.
Created a powerful community – held sports events, board games, creative workshops and parties together with guests, residents and colleagues from other departments.
Organized online tea drinking, where we solved puzzles and just talked about something personal, without touching on work issues.
Celebrated colleagues' birthdays together, even if they were in different cities.
According to the latest poll, 80% of the team answered that the atmosphere of mutual support and cooperation reigns in the team.
At the same time, the load and the level of multitasking in the team are off scale: if in a classic hotel of a similar category there are about three rooms for one employee, then in our network there are 15 rooms for each employee, that is, the volume of tasks is five times more. And since these are apart-hotels, the dynamics here are even higher and the functionality is much larger. So we continue to develop multitasking, every day we learn to solve problems in unusual formats and new market conditions.
W2CM: What nuances should an employer first take care of when deciding to focus on improving employee welfare?
A.A.: First of all, a leader should become a transmitter of the idea that it is necessary to increase the level of well-being of employees, and "infect" the heads of departments with this idea. Involve HR, of course. Depending on the staff of the company, the structure and specifics of the business, this can be HRD, HR BP, T&D specialist, corporate communication manager, etc.
Here, the main condition for success for the implementation of changes is that HRs will act as “assistants” and will perform a supporting function, and it will be managers who will implement initiatives in their departments that increase the level of well-being and happiness of employees. Indeed, according to a Gallup study, the level of employee engagement depends on the personality and actions of the leader by 70%.
W2CM: What will you talk about at w2 conference Moscow?
A.A.: At w2 conference Moscow, I will share the experience of international hotel chains and the case of the Vertical apart-hotels chain, where during the crisis we increased the number of rooms 7 times over the year and increased the efficiency of our employees several times. During my presentation, I'll talk about what tools have helped us achieve these results and increase the level of well-being and team engagement with minimal budgets.
Join Alena's presentation and ask her your questions about effective tools for increasing employee happiness on October 5 at w2 conference Moscow.
Join and find out how improving employee well-being can help to grow your business!