Employee engagement isn’t just beneficial for your company’s success, it’s essential.
To be successful in today’s business landscape, it takes more than just good products and helpful services. Companies must strive to develop a strong, identifiable, and relatable brand, along with committed and productive employees, among other things.
But how exactly does a company ensure its employees are productive and committed to the organization’s objectives? This requires a focus on establishing employee engagement.
This article will discuss all aspects of employee engagement, including:
What Employee Engagement is and Why it’s Important
When discussing employee engagement, it’s essential to distinguish engagement from employee satisfaction and happiness. Employee engagement does not refer to how satisfied or how happy an employee is with their work, although these aspects may play a role in helping to develop engagement.
Instead, employee engagement refers to an employee’s commitment to the organization that they work for. This commitment is emotional, meaning that the employee is emotionally invested in their work and the company, its goals, and its outcomes. Engaged employees who are emotionally invested in their work will go above and beyond what is expected of them.
For example, an engaged employee may stay at the office and work overtime to get a project done, even when not asked to do so. They may also help keep the store clean and organized, even when it’s not on their list of daily duties.
Engaged employees are not motivated by promotions or money and don’t just do their best when their superiors are present. Instead, they strive to help the company achieve its goals in any way they can.
Employee engagement not only promotes a better work environment but also results in positive outcomes for the business.
Employee engagement has resulted in higher profits, increased stock prices, and higher returns for investors. These beneficial outcomes are the result of better quality customer service and increased productivity, which, in turn, leads to increased customer satisfaction and therefore increased sales and profits.
Types of Engagement
Cognitive engagement refers to an employee’s awareness of the organization’s goals and their role in helping those goals become a reality. Employees who are cognitively engaged are committed to achieving these goals and know what they must do to be successful. They are highly focused on their work and are not often affected by distractions. In this regard, they are highly productive and focused on the task at hand.
Emotional engagement relates to an employee’s emotional investment in the company and the extent to which they trust the organization and feel personally connected and involved in its activities and outcomes. An engaged employee will often feel inspired by their work and emotionally connected to the brand and its goals and achievements.
Physical engagement refers to employees who whole-heartedly apply their physical and mental capabilities to their job. Often, those who are physically engaged will independently seek out development opportunities in order to improve themselves and acquire knowledge or skills that can be applied to their position.
How to Build Employee Engagement
Building employee engagement isn’t always easy. It’s not as simple as providing more benefits, increasing wages, or buying the whole office lunch every week. To increase employee engagement, organizations need to consider who their team members are and what motivates them to develop a comprehensive strategy.
Some effective ways to help increase employee engagement in your workforce include:
Provide a safe, positive, and enjoyable workspace
An employee’s environment can significantly impact how they feel about coming to work. If your office is dark and dull, your employees’ are not likely to feel the same way about coming to work as if you provide a bright and welcoming environment. The best workplaces are welcoming and comfortable, and focusing on creating this environment will go a long way to improving employee engagement.
Allowing your employees to be flexible and to adjust their work schedule to meet their needs is a great way to promote engagement. When employees feel that they can balance work, family, friends and other responsibilities, they will be much more engaged when they are at work.
While some employers might believe that employees require a watchful eye, they are often more engaged and productive when they have the flexibility to work when and where they want. Opening up telecommuting and working from home is what some companies are beginning to do to deal with 2020’s COVID-19 crisis, but the productivity benefits from this transition could make these changes permanent.
Build genuine relationships
Any employer can establish a hollow relationship between management and employees. However, this type of relationship typically won’t benefit the company, or the employees, in any way. Building strong and authentic relationships, on the other hand, help to develop trust, resulting in team members who are more emotionally invested in the company.
In addition to being more productive and engaged as a result of feeling that management genuinely cares about them as a person, this can also help management understand their employees’ wants and needs better.
By building an authentic relationship with employees, management can learn more about them, what motivates them and what they might need to become even more engaged at work and committed to the goals of the organization.
Establish clear business goals
One aspect of employee engagement is a commitment to the goals of the company. However, if these goals are not clear, an employee will find it challenging to know what they are striving for.
In addition to clearly specifying company objectives, employers should also establish clear goals for their team members and employee responsibilities. If a healthy and positive relationship is established between management and employees, then addressing issues in achieving these goals can be simple with open communication.
By supporting an employee when they are experiencing difficulty reaching these goals, the employer can ensure that employees are not overwhelmed by their work, which can result in a lack of engagement.
Ask for input
Try using an employee engagement survey. By asking for feedback, an employer can engage employees and help them feel involved and that their opinion matters. In turn, asking for input from team members can help employers learn what their employees need and what motivate to further employee engagement.
Not only does collaboration benefit an organization due to increased creativity, but it also helps to promote employee engagement. Collaboration fosters teamwork, and when employees feel that they are a part of a team and are proud of the work they do, they will be much more engaged.
Teamwork can also help reduce frustration when it comes to challenging tasks. Having others to help solve problems and even learn from can reduce stress and prevent team members from becoming disengaged.
Show your appreciation
The success of a company relies heavily on the success and determination of its employees. When employees feel that their contributions go unnoticed, they don’t experience a sense of engagement.
A simple “Thank You” can go a long way – it doesn’t take gifts and bonuses to get people to perform at their best if they just feel that their contributions are seen and appreciated. Keep in mind; not all employees will enjoy the same types of gratitude. This is where a healthy and authentic relationship with employees can also play an important part.
For example, some people may appreciate public forms of recognition for a job well done. An office party thrown in honour of your employees is another great idea. However, if someone is shy, they may not enjoy this same gesture. Management should know their employees well enough to know an appropriate and meaningful gesture for that individual.
Organize team activities
Social gatherings and team activities are a great way to promote authentic relationships. Have the whole team attend, along with their family, to help build personal relationships. Doing so further encourages collaboration and gives employees a sense of emotional attachment to their colleagues.
Employee engagement refers to the extent to which employees are invested in their work and willing to go above and beyond to achieve company goals.
Engaged employees are personally invested in what they do and will strive to help the organization reach its goals, regardless of money or promotions. Strong engagement can significantly benefit an organization by increasing productivity and customer satisfaction and therefore increasing sales.
There are many strategies that employers can use to help promote employee satisfaction. Most importantly, companies should create a welcoming and positive environment that fosters positive and authentic relationships between colleagues.
Showing employees that what they do matters and that their opinion is valued can go a long way to promoting engagement. Also, endorsing an excellent work-life balance by allowing employees the freedom to be flexible with their work schedule can encourage engagement.
Above all, employers can effectively develop a strategy to increase engagement by asking their employees what they need and want for a better workplace experience.