The Rules of Employee Engagement
Sudden silence when you walk into crowds, furtive glances when you walk by, or people staring at the floor as you pass by. Are these in your imagination? Or are these things really happening? You might absolutely love your employees, but the question is – Do your employees love you? You wouldn’t be doing your job if you didn’t stop to wonder what your employees think of you. Anyway, in this age of the social media generation, a few employees bad mouthing you is all it requires for your company’s reputation to fall.
Despite the business world’s obsession with metrics, the human heart is one variable that is impossible to measure. Motivating your work force might just be the toughest and most important challenge you face as an HR professional.
Even though there are a lot of obstacles and a lot of hard work involved in making sure of employee engagement, organizations that are able to solve the employee engagement challenge can expect tremendous benefits. This includes:
- Higher profitability
- Revenue growth
- Higher performance – since highly engaged employees perform better than the disengaged ones
- Higher productivity – since disengaged employees cost the company in lost productivity
- More likely to retain top talent – since turnover is reduced with engaged employees being 87% less likely to leave their jobs
- Better able to attract new talent – since engaged employees are twice as likely to mention if their employer is hiring
Studies have also found that high engagement organizations:
- Outperform their competitors
- Are much better at fostering innovation and creativity
- Can consistently thrive and grow – even during challenging economic times
This just goes to show that the companies that are seeking to raise their productivity, to increase their competitiveness, and to respond to the talent shortages, need to enhance their employee engagement in order to more effectively maximize their employees’ skills, abilities and talent.
- It’s All About Strategy
Ensure that employee engagement is a strategic imperative for your company and organization. It needs to be included as a key strategy in the organization’s overall strategic plan. All the levels of management throughout the organization should be aware of the strategic importance of enhancing employee engagement, the potential benefits, and their own role in achieving success.
- Vision and Goals
The company also needs to create and then communicate the organization’s vision, values, and goals to its employees. Making sure that all employees are clear about these guiding principles for organizational success is one fundamental factor that can spur employee engagement efforts. When employees feel involved, it increases the feeling of importance and hence leads to the engendering of loyalty.
- Visible Leadership
Senior executives need to be inspirational, enthusiastic, visible, and most importantly accessible, this helps build a culture of high employee engagement. Engaging in open and honest dialogue with employees, and telling the truth – especially when topics are difficult or news is negative, creates a bond between the senior management and employees.
- Involvement is Engagement
If you really want to know what makes employees happy, why complicate things, why not just ask them? Go on and find out what what’s working to make your employees happy and what they are thinking via surveys and social media – and then find ways to replicate and extend these “best practices” throughout the organization.
Everyone likes it when the work they are doing is noticed and appreciated, and no one likes working in thankless environments. Make sure that official rewards and recognition programs are in place to measure and appreciate top performing employees.
Highly engaged employees are committed to their organization and are invested in its success. They proactively share their ideas, in promoting their company and organization. Engaged employees also exert efforts above and beyond what is required to just earn their salaries. An engaged employee is a happy employee, and a happy employee is a productive employee.