Let’s talk about employee engagement for a moment. Employee engagement is, at its core, a business management concept and it’s one of the most important factors in organizational success.
Engaged employees are more productive, more profitable and client-focused as they are committed, both emotionally and intellectually, to their company and its goals. You certainly want committed employees.
But here’s the tricky part.
There lies a fine line between creating an environment in which employees feel compelled to work for their organization vs. creating an environment in which your employees have an intrinsic desire to work for their organization. The latter is what you should strive for. Gallup.com tells us 86% of engaged employees say that they often feel happy at work, versus only 11% of employees who are disengaged.
So how does a business owner create that emotional connection and ignite passion among staff?
It reaches beyond fun team building activities and corporate outings. There are particular factors that should be managed in order to increase overall engagement throughout the organization.
Perception of job importance. According to research, an employee’s attitude toward the importance of his/her job has the greatest impact on loyalty and customer service; more so than all other factors combined. Right Management says 70% of employees indicate that they have a solid understanding of how to meet clients’ needs. Only 17% of non-engaged employees can say the same.
Clarify job expectations and, at the very least, provide your employees basic materials and equipment with which to successfully perform their work.
Career advancement and learning opportunities should be made readily available. Let’s be realistic, no one wants to work for a company that doesn’t foster opportunities to move up the ladder. And keep in mind some employees are just looking for opportunities to improve upon their skill set.
Regular dialogue between employees and management is key. Employees need to hear that they, and their work, are valued: 78% of workers said being recognized motivates them in their jobs according to the Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker Survey, the September 2011 Report. So when your employees have done a great job, tell them so.
Nurture quality relationships within the workplace. Team building workshops are a great way to build trust and a positive base upon which employee relationships with both peers and superiors can grow.
Perception of ethics and values should be kept at the forefront of operations. Employees will not have the desire to contribute to the overall success of the company if they do not trust in its integrity and maintain pride in their workplace.
Create a clear understanding of company goals and encourage employee contribution. Engaged employees believe they have the power to make a direct, positive impact on the company and want to be involved in what’s happening at every level. This is true for small businesses through to large corporations.
Reward your employees to create engagement. It’s important to acknowledge the role employee benefits and incentives play in relation to organization success, but remember – this doesn’t necessarily have to translate into monetary rewards solely. Be creative and don’t be afraid to ask your employees what will motivate them.
Employee engagement is a business management concept that business owners, no matter what your business, should give serious consideration to. It has the ability to increase your bottom line, create a culture that other companies will be talking about, and will breathe new life into your organization. Give employee engagement a try. It’s well worth the investment.