Redefining employee engagement with BI WORLDWIDE

Omar Hadoui, Managing Director, APAC, BI WORLDWIDE, discusses the modern rules of employee engagement to support talent retention.
By: | August 18, 2022

Employee engagement has traditionally been a priority for HR leaders. However, that model no longer applies in the workforce today. With a myriad of facets impacting the employee experience, everyone across the organisation has a part to play.

Additionally, while the pandemic may have transformed the way we work, the importance of employee engagement has only increased as organisations look to create a better work culture that reduces attrition and increases performance.

Successful employee engagement strategies recognise what is important to each individual employee and deliver a personalised experience, suggested Omar Hadoui, Managing Director, APAC, BI WORLDWIDE.

Speaking with HRM Magazine Asia, Omar said, “For example, blue-collar workers in the logistics industry are impacted by the pandemic differently than employees who sit in front of a desktop in the office. How do you successfully engage with both groups?”

Firstly, organisations must understand how employee loyalty has changed because of the pandemic.

“Before the pandemic, engagement was amplified by the fact that it was easier to encourage bonding through direct interaction,” said Omar.

“We then moved to a completely digital world with limited physical interaction. Engagement initiatives had to be developed or adjusted to fit communication platforms such as Zooms and Teams.”

Today, many organisations operate in a hybrid arrangement, including BI WORLDWIDE Singapore, where employees return to the office thrice a week on days of their own choosing.

Recognising that employees are fundamental to success, Omar devotes time outside of client engagement to look after his people and strategising a holistic employee value proposition (EVP) that can help nurture the right work environment.

 “Nurturing and maintaining a strong company culture requires effort. Creating a company culture means spending time with your team and engaging in activities that stimulate a sense of belonging, eventually benefiting business results,” said Omar.

Touching on diversity and inclusion, he lamented how many organisations make the mistake of fulfilling diversity hires before trying to foster inclusivity.

Instead, he advocated hiring the right people for the job and prioritising inclusion from the get-go. “We build an environment where people feel safe and that they belong. This then attracts deep diversity.”

Within this inclusive work culture, the challenge is finding the best ways to motivate and communicate with employees.

Modern rules of employee engagement

As a 72-year-old global engagement agency, BI WORLDWIDE has helped companies in over 140 countries develop their EVP strategies and build thriving cultures. As employees redefine their priorities in life, it is more critical than ever to motivate employees and make them feel invested in the organisation’s mission and vision.

For instance, organisations should take a personal approach when engaging with employees. Omar explained, “You need to understand what is happening in employees’ lives and adopt different ways of talking to different employees, because everyone receives and reacts to information differently.”

Managers can do more to bring teams together and celebrate employees’ achievements by magnifying their success” – Omar Hadoui, Managing Director, APAC, BI WORLDWIDE



“Managers can do more to bring teams together and celebrate employees’ achievements by magnifying their success. Every time someone in your team achieves something, how do you make them feel like they have achieved even more?”

The concepts of Make It Personal, Unite Them, and Magnify Their Success mentioned by Omar form part of BI WORLDWIDE’s 12 New Rules of Engagement, which identifies the engagement points that resonate best with employees.

Also including Make Money a Non-Issue, Help Them Thrive, Realise Their Potential, Foster Belonging, Be Boldly Transparent, Give It Meaning, See Their Future, Let Them Lead, and Challenge Them, these 12 factors allow organisations to identify which are more important to their employees and provide a foundation to develop their EVP.

Leveraging the abilities and differing levels of involvement of each stakeholder, these new rules of engagement provide a foundation upon which managers, organisations as a whole, and employees alike can shape a positive experience.

BI WORLDWIDE’s solution, which blends technology, behavioural economics, as well as rewards and recognition, can then be deployed to help organisations build up their EVPs.

This solution, which BI WORLDWIDE calls corporate social media, hosts all the campaigns that are designed around the company’s values, mission, and business strategy.

“We design campaigns using more than 30 behaviourial economics principles that produce the level of employee engagement required,” said Omar. “This could be around onboarding new employees, health and wellness, sustainability, or empowering women, for instance.”

Engaged employees are more likely to stay 

Employee retention goes beyond remuneration and benefits — employees need to feel engaged and recognised too. 

“We found that many organisations with over 10,000 employees still lack recognition programmes,” Omar noted. “These programmes are essential for creating meaningful points of engagement, thus fostering a safe and inclusive environment where employees can focus on their development and contributions.”

Nonetheless, he is encouraged by how more organisations recognise that remuneration, while important, is no longer sufficient to retain employees. 

“More organisations are rethinking their recognition programmes and starting to understand what elements are essential.”