Employee engagement has always been important – even more so now with the shift to remote/hybrid working. In many companies, this shift has resulted in a decline in employee engagement and connection. At a recent PRSA-SV #FridayForum, Visa VP and Head of Global Employee and Executive Communications Stacey Zolt Hara discussed how she helps keep employees engaged and connected to management.
Zolt Hara began her career as a political reporter, where she learned how to translate complex issues into content that was easier to understand. Now, after two years of working during the pandemic, she uses those skills at Visa.
“Every employee brings their own lived experience to the table”
“Every employee brings their own lived experience to the table and it is incumbent upon employers to meet them where they are, engage them, and continuously earn their trust,” she says.
A study published in Harvard Business Review estimated that 55% of people in the workforce in August 2021 intended to look for a new job in the next 12 months. To help curb resignations, an Engage for Success blog cited research that organizations with high levels of employee engagement are more efficient and effective.
Zolt Hara agrees that employee engagement is the backbone of a company’s success. That’s why she helps Visa executives understand employee concerns, build stronger connections with them, and drive diversity and inclusion internally and externally.
“Business leaders must understand the importance of engaging our employees, which are our most important stakeholders of the company,” she says.
Five Ways Visa Creates Employee Connections
To encourage these connections and increase employee satisfaction, Zolt Hara suggests organizations communicate their values and what they want to do to impact the world. She shared five ways Visa makes employees feel important and included:
- Seek to understand: Leverage quantitative and qualitative research to uncover what information employees want and how they want to get it.
- Reach employees where they are: Evolve employee communications channels to better mimic the way employees are taking in content in their personal lives. Think multimedia and shorter, snackable pieces.
- Measure and analyze: Act like a media company. Measure everything, look for trends and connect employee content consumption to business goals.
- Be human: Tell beautiful stories about the humans driving the business, who they are beyond their role, what is their lived experience.
- Make it social: Use external social media channels to help employees connect to each other through shared purpose, particularly in remote and hybrid settings.
Understanding the relationship between employees and their employers is essential for effective communication. As hybrid and remote work decreases the opportunities for real relationships between these two entities, leaders must find strategic and sincere methods to build connections.
“Taking a look at our business strategy and understanding where the employee experience fits into that helps Visa build a more cohesive work environment,” Zolt Hara says.
Watch PRSA-SV’s February 25 “Fireside Chat with Visa VP Stacey Zolt Hara” #FridayForum on by visiting PRSA Silicon Valley Facebook LinkedIn, Twitter and Youtube, or by listening to the podcast on Apple, Buzzsprout and Spotify.