As hybrid workplace, gig workers and work from home becomes the new normal for organizations across the globe, engaging employees calls for a strategy change at all levels – Learning & Development included. The idea is not just to overload employees with a barrage of competitions, wellness sessions and surveys, but to upskill them in alignment with the organization’s key business priorities and performance.

Employee Engagement has a new definition

Gone are the days of ‘Traditional Days’ and ‘Rangoli Competitions’ being the star engagement factor at work. Covid has ushered in digital transformation at an unprecedented rate, changing not just our way of working and engaging with one another (and our company) but also how we perceive employee engagement.

Employee Engagement in the New Normal is about experimenting with new methodologies, leveraging digital tools and technologies, personalizing learning journeys, sensitizing the frontline managers in nurturing team relationships and empowering employees to take ownership of their skilling & development and growth.

Is a Happy Employee an Engaged Employee?

Even with the very essence of Employee Engagement re-written, HRs still don’t get the ‘engaged’ employee equation right. For some it’s the level of happiness, for others, it’s their retention rate. Don’t get me wrong, happiness is definitely part of the formula for successful employee engagement, but when considered in a silo, it can skew the engaged employee picture for businesses.

The common thread however between all Engaged Employees is the company’s investment in workforce learning and skilling, and reward and recognition.

  • Learning and Development (L&D)

As per an eLearning Industry article, a sense of growth is also a very important element of employee engagement. L&D can help employees not only have a strong perception of how a company cares about their personal and professional growth but also create a sense of common goal. Rapid digital transformation across functions and teams is also creating new skill gaps that make employees nervous. L&D plays a big role in closing these gaps with digital learning content delivered on a Learning Management System (LMS), ensuring employees feel more confident. Effective employee engagement programs that target the core of how an employee perceives and feels about the company will create a better and more long-term pool of budding leaders.

  • Reward & Recognition (R&R)

Employees who have successfully learned new skills and abilities should be rewarded and recognized so they are motivated and can encourage others to follow suit. R&R and Gamification is a potent combination as it creates a positive habit loop. There is a very famous proverb “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”. By leveraging Reward and Recognition in conjunction to learning, you will not just lead the horse to water and make it drink, but you will make it so thirsty that it will crave the water.

Watch me uncover different areas of Employee Engagement from the L&D lens in the webinar “Employee Engagement for the New Normal: The L&D Perspective”.


  • Employee Engagement: Pre, During & Post covid
  • The Engaged Employee
  • Employee Engagement for the New Normal