The Secret to a Thriving Workplace: Why Employee Engagement Matters

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By Adrian Escofet

March 3, 2023

Have you ever had a bad day at work that seemed trivial but ended up being overwhelming? Imagine this scenario: Pam arrives at work after many months of sleepless nights with her crying baby. She’s tired and stressed, feeling like she can’t talk about her personal life in the workplace. This situation makes her reconsider her work at the company: should she resign and focus on the child? Should she take a part-time job?

During a meeting, Pam’s manager Elisa notices that she’s disengaged and asks if everything is okay. After some hesitation, Pam explains her situation and Elisa encourages her to take some time off to focus on her baby, coordinating with the team to keep things under control and come back refreshed. Pam feels heard, appreciates Elisa’s response and overall feels much better about her situation and the solution.

Detecting the level of engagement and well-being of teams is crucial for creating a thriving workplace. Organizations can sometimes do this very quickly in light of work in a face-to-face format. But it can be challenging in distributed companies, such as Arionkoder, to get a feel about this: it usually requires greater efforts when it comes to detecting and managing such cases.

Employee engagement is a topic that concerns and worries all companies because it affects people’s well-being, productivity, and the quality of services. Evidence of this is that organizations invest heavily in implementing measures that tend to ensure a healthy and sustainable level of engagement over time that positively impacts all those dimensions. So, what is healthy engagement, and what actions can be taken to improve it?

Engagement is a global issue

Research shows that the average level of engagement people have with their work is notably low worldwide, through different regions and industries. According to the State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report by Gallup, LATAM shows 23% engagement, while the USA and Canada report 33%. This means that the vast majority of the workforce is disengaged regarding their work. The COVID-19 pandemic has only made things more complex, with the Great Resignation and Quiet Quitting phenomena, as people redefine the role of work in their lives. Remote work has also impacted this issue, making it more challenging to develop actions to address it.

Academic sources identify elements that bring people closer to their work. One people management model proposes the 3C model: Career, Competence, and Care. Career refers to internal growth opportunities, Competence relates to skill development to take advantage of growth opportunities and Care is all about the extent to which the person feels heard and understood by the organization.

In this sense, it’s relevant to understand whether there is alignment between the company culture (Is it warm? Does it support people? Does it recognize and reward individuals?), growth opportunities (Are there training offerings? Can people rely on a structured career path?), and its vision (why companies do what they do, the “WHY” according to Simon Sinek). In the case of technology companies, the ability to learn and apply the latest technologies in high-impact positive sectors is also a key factor.

Building a Stronger Community at Arionkoder

At Arionkoder, we manage engagement with a human-centered focus. Our vision is to generate a positive impact through the development of digital products that create a better future for everyone, and we work constantly to make this vision a reality.

We seek to understand our clients and their business needs to offer innovative, specific solutions that streamline their success. This requires our teams to be in a collaborative process of continuous learning, sharing best practices, and testing new frameworks and technological tools. 

Collaborative Initiatives and Effective Communication

Without a doubt, our people are our most valuable asset. And in a 100% remote-first company like ours, where the interaction between everyone is almost exclusively online, effective communication is key to developing teams and interpersonal relationships. That’s why we emphasize various lines of action, including:

  • Regular 1:1 meetings with the People & Culture team for all Arionics. This creates a safe space where our people feel heard and supported, and containment actions are triggered when necessary.
  • Online team-building activities like games, team talks and other interactive situations that bring people -virtually- closer together.
  • Bringing Arionics to our HQ: every month, we fly different Arionics to our HQ where we have the opportunity to meet in person and share workdays and after-office meetings.
  • In-person, after-office gatherings: we promote after-office meetings in each location where our teams are.

Prioritizing Learning and Development

We continually hold and expand internal training initiatives for our teams, with the aim of keeping them up-to-date with technology while developing new skills (technical or non-technical) for their personal and professional growth. Some trainings are tech-oriented, while others focus on the development of soft skills and management. Our Engineering department, in particular, has promoted the creation of Guilds. These are interest groups focused around particular technologies and frameworks, where experts mentor and share best practices, hold internal training talks and support teams working with that technology.

It’s all about listening and taking action

A motivated and engaged workforce is one of the biggest challenges for any company, and even more so in the highly dynamic tech sector. In Arionkoder’s case, our approach is to listen to our people, understand their needs, and generate initiatives that are appropriate and feasible. Measuring the impact of these initiatives and modifying or replacing them when necessary is also a key aspect of arriving at the desired results. 

Reach out to us to discover how we build high performing teams, and what they can do you help you reach your business goals!