WHAT IS EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT?
Understanding the concept of employee engagement is vital in today’s world. Employee engagement talks about the relationship between a company and its employees. It talks about the extent to which employees of an organization feel dedicated and committed to their work, as well as the level of passion the employees display in carrying out tasks and achieving desirable results.
Engaged employees are those that understand the goals of a company and have made these ideals their own to ensure that maximum and desirable results are gotten for the organization. These employees are highly motivated and put in their best to do their jobs well.
Employee engagement should not be mistaken for employee satisfaction as these are two different concepts. While employee satisfaction only talks about how happy employees are, employee engagement talks about the level of personal motivation and drive to do good work that the employee displays. This goes beyond collecting a fat paycheck but also aligning yourself with the goals of the company and striving to ensure that the best possible results are gotten.
This post is the second part of the series of posts discussing the secrets that will make companies thrive in the new decade, please find the original one HERE, I am sure you will find it insightful.
WHY EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT IS IMPORTANT?
- An engaged employee can look beyond just rewards but he/she sees the goal of the company and tries to play their part to fit in and achieve the goals of the company.
- Companies with engaged employees perform better than their competitors. This happens in all sectors and studies have shown that companies with engaged employees are more likely to recover if they suffer financial setbacks.
- Employee engagement is also important because it helps companies retain their best performers. Studies have shown that a company that takes employee engagement as a top priority is more likely to draw in new and efficient team members.
- Employee engagement strategies have been seen to improve customer retention rates.
- Engaged employees are generally happier while doing their jobs.
- Employee engagement has also been seen to boost company profits and bring back desirable returns.
- Now, when working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many employees are getting more and more disengaged with the mission and the business…getting them fired up and being productive is even more critical now.
BENEFITS OF INVESTING IN EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT INITIATIVES
- Employee engagement helps to boost an organization’s culture.
Engaged employees are easy to work with and this is because they have the best interests of the company at heart. They know the company’s standards and ideals and they make these ideals their own. These employees are living examples of the company’s values and culture and get to show that to the world wherever they may be.
- Employee engagement increases customer satisfaction levels.
Engaged employees are usually cheerful people and are passionate about their work and who better to attend to your employees than your most engaged employees that always have beautiful smiles on their faces. This, in turn, leads to increased customer satisfaction as the customers always notice how they are treated. Customers that are treated right will always want to come back and would also bring in new customers for your business.
- Employee engagement helps to increase productivity.
Research by Gallup poll shows that engaged employees are about 21% more productive than other employees. Engaging your employees means finding new ways to challenge them and keep them motivated to work and bring in results and means that the company would enjoy increased productivity.
- Companies that take employee engagement seriously can boast of lower absenteeism
Research has shown that employees that are passionate about their work are going to show up at work more often. This is because these engaged employees have the best interests of their companies in mind and would want to ensure that all goals are met.
- Employee engagement helps in retaining the workforce
Employees are more likely to leave their jobs if they are not engaged or do not feel passionate about their work. Employee engagement is an essential tool for keeping your best employees with you. If an employee does not feel challenged or valuable in an organization, he/she is most likely going to seek that elsewhere. Engaged employees are usually loyal employees and there is a low chance that they would run off to another company if you keep them engaged.
- Employee engagement brings about increased profit levels.
If your employees are motivated and take their work seriously then there is a higher chance that they would go out of their way to bring profit and returns to the company than if they are not motivated or challenged by their jobs.
HOW TO ACHIEVE AND SUSTAIN EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT?
The importance of employee engagement cannot be overemphasized and a lot of companies have started research on how to keep customers engaged. Below are some ways to achieve employee engagement and also sustain it.
- Engage in transparent leadership: A lot of employees do not trust their leaders and this has been proven to reduce the productivity of employees as they are not motivated to achieve the goals of the company. As a manager, you can build the trust of your employees by providing job security, communicating freely and openly, rewarding good benefits, compensating employees accordingly, and always keeping promises made.
- Take advantage of opportunities to develop employees: Every day in business, new standards are set for skilled labor and some employers often forget how important this is for their employees. A lot of employees want to feel challenged and useful and this is why managers must invest in developing their employees. It has been proven that organizations that take employee development seriously have a higher profit margin than organizations that don’t. Managers can implement programs that train employees at every level and also can offer training programs that are outside the skill set of some employees like leadership and human resource training.
- Make efforts to know your employees better: A lot of managers are guilty of not having a relationship with employees. It definitely makes employees feel engaged and special if their bosses know them personally. Such employees are fueled with a sense of purpose and responsibility and do their possible best to ensure that all targets are met and that the standard of the company is kept at a very high level. Managers should get to know how best their employees work, make efforts to find out what their challenges are, and make efforts to assist employees in any way possible.
- Reward good work accordingly: It is a known fact that the average human loves to feel appreciated and rewarded especially after successfully carrying out a task. The same goes for employees as employees feel engaged and motivated to do more if their efforts are rewarded and recognized especially by higher-ups in their organizations. This method helps to keep employees engaged and also helps in pushing employees that lack motivation in the workplace. Your company’s incentive scheme needs to suit the needs of your employees. Older employees may require adequate insurance schemes while younger employees may appreciate a fat bonus that may enable them to go on a trip or vacation.
- Make the health and wellbeing of employees a top priority: If employees are burdened with ridiculous amounts of work and unreasonable targets, their general productivity is bound to reduce with most of these tasks remaining undone. Companies that consider this and put programs in place that ensure that employees feel their best at all times would definitely have better results than a company that does not take the wellbeing of its employees as a priority. Encouraging exercises and breaks for employees that may feel stressed or setting up an employee lounge that is always open and equipped with facilities that reduce fatigue can serve as a huge boost for employee engagement.
KEY DRIVERS TO FOSTER LONG TERM EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT
The drivers that foster employee engagement have progressed and changed over the years as employees now require more to keep them engaged. These drivers include:
- Seamless onboarding: This talks about how easy it is for employees to adapt and blend into your organization when they are employed. This process goes a long way to determining if the employee would feel comfortable and engaged for a long time in the company.
- Positive work culture: A positive work culture involves a transparent and open organizational system. It involves proper communication with employees and helping them achieve set goals.
- Access to productivity and time management tools: The importance of time management cannot be overemphasized. Having a lot of impromptu and unplanned work activities can result in achieving very little but proper time management results in high levels of productivity.
- Learning and development opportunities: Employees feel more motivated and engaged in organizations that take an interest in the personal development of its employees. Innovations spring up every day and companies that help their employees stay relevant in today’s world are more likely to have better returns than companies that don’t.
- Effective leadership and succession planning: Studies have shown that employees are more engaged if they know of opportunities that lie in store for them. If young and talented employees are aware that they stand real opportunities to climb up the ladder of the organization, they are motivated and engaged to always achieve desirable results for the company.
- Workplace wellness initiatives: Employees can get stressed from carrying out a variety of activities and organizations have begun to put measures in place that ensure that employees remain engaged and fit to carry out their tasks.
- Flexibility: Employees in today’s world appreciate jobs that allow them to work from anywhere as long as they achieve their required parts. Organizations that allow their employees to enjoy flexibility usually enjoy better performance and engagement from their employees.
- Rewards and recognition: feedback and recognition for jobs well done as well as rewards are key drivers of employee engagement. Recognizing employees for their good work serves to motivate and boost employee engagement.
HOW EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT RELATES TO COMPANIES OF THE FUTURE?
Our world today is ever-changing and technology has a huge role to play in that. Artificial intelligence is gaining more ground and a lot of jobs are becoming automated to eliminate fatigue, increase efficiency, and reduce chances of failure. The needs of employees of today are different from that of employees in 1970 so companies have to constantly work with current trends are ensure that they make use of effective employee engagement strategies to keep their employees focused, motivated, and engaged.
Technology continues to improve and a lot of companies continue to lose employees because their jobs are not suited to their needs. The companies of the future are those that are fully embracing the latest technology and making use of its capabilities to make life easier for their employees.
In the future, employee engagement would be taken very seriously as employees are searching for flexibility and job security. Technology would make it possible for a lot of employees to work remotely as long as they are meeting their targets without stress. Expectations of employees would continue to change as technology changes so employers need to put in maximum effort to ensure that they are offering what competitors cannot offer.
Employers still need to study employee management so that they can learn new strategies that are effective for the employees of today and the future. Technology keeps improving and humans will keep growing with it. This is one of the reasons why companies should invest in employee engagement programs now. Employers need to come up with strategies for employee engagement now as it is still very much researched and has a long way to go. Companies that make this a priority are bound to enjoy the rewards of this investment.
REFERENCES & FURTHER READING