19th June 2019
Employee engagement has such a significant impact on a company’s performance and revenue and reinforces the idea that an essential resource companies have is, in fact, human capital. It’s for these reasons that staff should be treated with high priority and that employee engagement should be taken seriously amongst management and business leaders.
As an employer, it’s your job to ensure that your staff are happy and passionate about their work so that they come to the office everyday eager and enthusiastic to get started. This isn’t always easy to achieve, especially when you have a fairly large workforce to look after; however, advocating employee engagement is very straight forward when you know how.
Challenges of Employee Engagement
There are a fair share of challenges associated with employee engagement and they can feel quite confronting at times. It can also be difficult to know where to begin in order to overcome them. Before we dive into how you can increase employee engagement, let’s first look at some of the areas that can lack, leading to issues which drag that engagement down.
Strategy is the key to almost every success. With strategy comes structure and with structure comes clarity. Clarity is ever such an important thing to have when looking at employee engagement because it allows employers to assess a situation and understand what is going wrong.
90 percent of employers understand the importance of having an engagement strategy; however, only around 25 percent of them actually have a plan. It seems that while they know they should be, managers just aren’t taking the time to look at the factors contributing to disengagement. If you don’t know where it’s falling over, how are you meant to know how to address it?
You can’t expect people to work together if there’s no (or even bad) communication. We need to form relationships to feel comfortable working as a team. The same can also be said for the actual running of a business. It’s vital that you regularly share your company’s goals, visions and objectives. If this information is not made available, it prevents employees from getting to know the company they work for and makes it difficult for them to know exactly where they stand.
We all like to get good or constructive feedback. It helps us to understand what we are doing well and where we can improve. If we don’t have that feedback, it’s easy to lose focus. Feedback, recognition and growth are some of the main contributors to a positive employee experience.
A big mistake that a lot of businesses make is that make their staff feel like they are just a means to an end. Companies should be making a point of showing compassion and empathy to their staff to help them to feel valued as a person and not just a number on the payroll.
The Right People
Nothing says lack of employee engagement more than a working environment where half of the staff members clash with the other half. When you hire new people, it’s really important that you keep your company culture in mind. Just because a candidate looks perfect on paper, it doesn’t mean that they are right for your company. Not only can existing employees become disengaged when the wrong people are hired – the same can be said for the new starter if they find that the job isn’t the right fit for them personally.
Ways to Engage Employees
Overcoming these challenges may feel a bit daunting at first and it might seem hard and costly to do so, but there’s nothing that can’t be achieved with the right know-how and determination.
Increasing the engagement of your employees doesn’t have to be a difficult task and it certainly doesn’t have to be costly to the business either. You simply need to be committed to creating a better workplace for your staff and help them to believe that you just want the best for them.
Now that we have taken a glance at some of the challenges that might present themselves, let’s move on to the good bit. Here are some ideas that will get you well on your way to great employee engagement in your business.
Look at practical methods to increase engagement. Take a look at patterns that may form (such as absenteeism, lateness or targets not being met) and find pragmatic solutions to nip those issues in the bud before they become a bigger problem.
What do your Employees Want?
No two people are the same. That much is clear. You will have some staff members who need more of a hands on approach from their manager, whereas others might prefer to get their head down and get the work done independently. A great method of management is to get a grasp of who your employees are as individuals and what they want from you as their employer. Why not try getting your staff to take a personality test to gauge their tendencies and preferences? This is an approach that won’t drain your recourse and will give you a better insight into your staff.
Invest in them
Show staff that you care about their well-being and development by investing in their development. Training and personal development is a win-win for employers and employees alike, as it helps to hone the valuable staff resource while making employees feel like they are cared about and nurtured. Showing that you are dedicated to their future will increase the chances that staff will want to be more dedicated to the company.
Social Interactions are a Valuable Resource
Interaction at work can really lend itself to increased employee engagement and performance. Work with your HR department to arrange opportunities for social interactions for staff and management. Anything from dinners or lunches, volunteer projects or games nights could really boost the engagement you notice from your workforce. And hey – it’s fun. You know what they say about all work and no play!
The likelihood of someone leaving a job based on the management they’re under as opposed to the position itself is staggeringly high, with around 75 percent of workers choosing to resign voluntarily because of their boss. In many instances, this could very well be down to the simple fact that managers are not offered the correct tools and support needed to support their own staff. Training, employee feedback and surveys can really help to develop managers into leaders who can drive and increase employee engagement.
These tips will get you well on your way to a much more engaged workforce; however, it’s important to recognise that when all is said and done, there are three main points to remember.
Trust – Put trust at the front and centre of everything that you do. Staff will never be committed to your cause if they don’t feel that they can trust you.
Track – Develop benchmarks for evaluating the progress of engagement. Think about whether absenteeism has decreased or whether staff are more socially engaged with one another. Setting metrics will help you to monitor and assess where progress is being made and whether there are areas that still need improvement.
Recognise – Management plays such a crucial role in employee engagement since they are usually on the frontlines with staff rather than people who sit higher in the chain of report. Managers are more likely to find approaches that work well and when this is the case, their methods should be recognised and shared throughout the company. You are only as strong as your weakest link, so if you have the opportunity to share valuable knowledge that has the potential to boost one of your most valuable resources (your workforce!), then you should definitely grab that bull by the horns.
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