The term “employee engagement” is a popular concept. And we can see how engagement in the workplace has evolved significantly from the initial definition in 1990 to today.
The emphasis is no longer on the employees to just be satisfied, but rather on the employers to ensure that each employee feels fulfilled, encouraged in his or her job, and aligned to the objective of the organization.
The year 2020 has changed the rules of how we work having a tremendous effect on employees, leaders, and HRs making the revamp of employee engagement plans essential than ever before. Leaders now need to come up with a whole set of strategies to engage their employees in this new work culture.
However, it is up to the leaders to re-build employee engagement plans to address the demands of the workers to ensure a healthy company. Before we get into developing strategies, let’s first understand the concept, so let’s dive in quickly.
What Is Employee Engagement?
Employee engagement is the level of psychological and emotional commitment that employees have for their jobs, organization, and priorities. An engaged employee is compelled to help their organization thrive by steering their best efforts into their work.
It is essential to note that employee engagement differs from employee satisfaction. Employee Satisfaction only demonstrates how satisfied or comfortable the employees are.
For certain employees, being satisfied involves earning paychecks and producing as little work as possible.
When companies concentrate on ways to boost employee satisfaction, the new modifications would not always result in improved efficiency. Usually, the factors that keep employees “satisfied” with their work are the very conditions that dampen high-performing employees.
Top performers welcome change, explore opportunities to grow, and challenge the status quo. They want all employees to be accountable for achieving better performance, while poor performers deny accountability, stick to the status quo, and resist transition.
Ultimately, a company with an efficient employee engagement program and a deeply engaged workforce is more likely to retain top talent as well as recruit new talent.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important?
Employee engagement helps in driving performance. Organizations with an engaged workforce outrank their rivals. They have higher earnings per share (EPS) and recover faster from recessions and financial difficulties. Here are some more benefits of employee engagement that will help you understand it’s significance better:
Employee engagement boosts productivity
The engaged employee wants their work to support the organization. They will always be in search of opportunities to deliver high-quality work.
While an employee who is not engaged will merely choose to come in to earn a paycheck for the least amount of work, the engaged employee will always make an attempt to ensure that their work yields the desired outcome.
Employers are experimenting with anything from wearable fitness trackers to a jungle of office plants to boost employee productivity. However, they are overlooking the solution that is right in front of them: employee engagement.
Employees that are engaged are 17 percent more productive than their counterparts. Employees that are engaged in their work are more likely to work diligently and put in discretionary effort, boosting productivity and innovation.
Employee engagement reduces absenteeism
Yet another advantage of employee engagement is that engaged employees will continue to get to work when they trust in what they do. They are less likely to skip work, and they will also make an attempt to work more than the actual working hours just to make sure that the tasks are accomplished on time.
Employees that are engaged in their work are invested in the success of their team. It’s only natural that they would turn up for work.
Employees who are engaged are passionate towards their company’s mission and will come to work every day with the goal of accomplishing it. In fact, highly engaged organizations had a 41% reduction in absenteeism.
Taking a day off now and then can indicate that employees are engaged. They’re comfortable in their roles, and they’re certain that missing one day won’t impair the job that needs to be done. When absence patterns start to emerge, nevertheless, you should be concerned about engagement levels.
Employee engagement enhances workplace culture
Organizational culture is very significant to employees, and perhaps a business can be damaged by a poor work culture. Culture drives the success of the company, which is established by employees, and ensures that all the employees are willing to make a successful contribution to the accomplishments.
Employee engagement is the cornerstone of any pleasant, vibrant, and productive workplace culture.
The truth is that any business would be nowhere without its employees. It’s critical that corporate policies focus on cultivating a healthy culture for employees while avoiding the spread of toxic or obsolete ideas and habits from the top.
Employee engagement improves talent retention
Employees are more likely to leave their current job if they can’t use their abilities, don’t feel challenged, or don’t love their work (all signs of poor engagement). Employees who are engaged, on the other hand, have no reason to seek a job elsewhere.
It’s not a smart idea to risk losing your top performers by failing to take initiatives to strengthen their commitment. Because they are the ones most likely to depart an organization due to conflicting job offers.
Employees are happy when they are engaged and valued. As a result, individuals are less likely to switch companies.
Employee Engagement helps with better business outcomes
Engaged workers work efficiently, do a better job, achieve/over-achieve their targets, drive customer satisfaction and loyalty, and add a great deal of benefits to the company. Engaged employees will increase profits through their jobs and frequently lead creativity within their team, unit, or company.
According to new research, highly engaged organizations are more profitable than their peers. Make sure to reinvest in employee engagement technology and activities when your company has periods of high revenue. This will maintain your profit growth and keep you on a steady upward path.
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How to Engage Employees?
Keep in mind that your workforce is made up of individuals who may react differently to different employee engagement concepts.
Talking to employees is the key to effectively engaging them and keeping them motivated. Find out how they like to receive feedback, how they want to be recognized, what they like best about working in the office, and what they’re enthusiastic about.
Long-term, your goal should be to create an employee engagement plan that is specifically tailored to your team’s needs.
Remember that when you hire new employees, expand your firm, and enter new markets, your engagement levels will fluctuate. Implement an employee engagement survey to keep track of your efforts and gauge your team’s level of engagement.
If you see a drop in one area of your approach, it’s likely that you need to step up your efforts. Alternatively, your team’s values may have changed, and they are now more receptive to a fresh approach. You won’t know unless you ask, in either case.
Here are few ways to reach the goal of high employee engagement:
Know and listen to your employees
Employees on the front lines have the best understanding of what needs to be changed. Every organization has problems that need to be addressed, and the individuals who are dealing with them are the ideal people to tell you what isn’t working.
To deliver the finest service to their clientele, managers must listen to their employees and breaking down the hierarchical boundaries.
Give everyone a seat at the table
It’s impossible to predict where the next big idea will come from. Giving employees a voice, similar to creating an owner-mentality among your team, makes them feel valued and builds a crucial emotional commitment in the company’s success.
Open the discussion to all workers, including new hires, and let them know that their thoughts are always welcome.
Allow them to grow and take ownership
Employees are more engaged with their work if they believe they have a stake in the outcome. Giving them the opportunity to lead a meeting or spearhead a project can help them connect on a deeper level with their work. The distinction between job satisfaction and actual engagement might be significant.
This not only encourages team collaboration and flexibility, but it also allows employees to have a direct impact on the organization’s success.
Recognize Employee Accomplishments
If you’re looking for a way to inspire employees, you’ve probably considered a monetary incentive. There are, however, simple ways to engage and motivate individuals in the workplace without spending any money. Employees simply want to know that their contributions to the organization and culture are valued.
Positive reinforcement takes the form of employee recognition. By praising people’s efforts, you encourage them to repeat the action, which in turn encourages their peers to do the same. Employee engagement rises by 90% when companies make it a point to recognize people based on their values.
Encourage Teamwork and Collaboration
Employee engagement is boosted through both social and professional collaboration at work. They’re more connected, sharing ideas and experiences, and sales and production cycles are shorter as a result.
It’s a new way for the team to do jobs that are constantly interesting, and the firm benefits from the increased productivity. Consider some social and volunteer projects that your coworkers might be interested in. Employee engagement can be boosted by collaborating on projects that are linked by a common interest.
Conducting exit interviews with employees who are leaving your organization is one approach of measuring employee engagement.
However, it is far more productive to speak with your employees while they are still with you, as this allows you to influence employee retention. Find out what motivates the person to stay with you and what can cause them to go. Attempt to avert disaster before it is too late.
Flexible Work Hours
Work hours that are more flexible have already proven to be quite advantageous. Flexible work hours, according to surveys, contribute to enhanced employee satisfaction, loyalty, and motivation, as well as higher job satisfaction, more productivity, and lower employee turnover.
A flexible schedule also helps to prevent conflict between work and personal obligations. According to research, accomplishing life responsibilities improves employee performance. Employers and employees alike benefit from flexible settings.
Promote Health and Wellness
There is a direct relationship between employee health and productivity. Sometimes we are so preoccupied with work and household responsibilities that we don’t have time to care for our health. This impacts work capacity.
The inference is clear: employee well-being should be incorporated into the company’s business strategy.
Create a comprehensive package of benefits and initiatives and work in a systematic manner toward this goal. Begin by putting some healthy snacks in the office fridge or ordering some fruits and organising a fruit time.
Find a gym close to the office and give your employees membership cards. Hire massage therapists to assist employees in relieving stress. Any step toward a healthier lifestyle benefits employees.
Making Work Fun
Assign a Friday to for some fun activities with the team? Reduce your workday by a short time and go for dinner, bowling, or simply sharing a couple of drinks.
Such social gatherings allow people to connect with individuals they do not normally interact with on a daily basis. It contributes to a stronger sense of community within the organisation.
How can you measure Employee Engagement?
N Employee engagement is much more than events, activities, and celebrations. There are several ways in which leadership teams can energize and engage the workforce.
These can vary from in-office events to group expeditions, and depending on the organization, different activities might be beneficial. Employee engagement surveys are one of the best instruments used to assess employee engagement indicators.
A well-designed survey will give you a lot of knowledge about your organization, as well as some insight into which areas you need to focus on. Some businesses opt to conduct an in-depth engagement survey once a year and then use pulse surveys on a more regular basis to check in with the workforce.
Many organizations tend to carry out engagement surveys even more often. It all depends on the needs of the company and the situation within that specific organization, industry or nation.
Pulse surveys are used to analyze individual issues more precisely. It also explores how individual teams or segments feel, providing input in real-time from employees that can be used to assess the impact of new policies to drive employee engagement.
The engagement survey is a significant starting point for assessing employee engagement, but companies should also use more continuous methods to collect data more consistently.
If a transition has taken place inside the organization, such as a shift of leadership, then an engagement survey will be a wonderful way to help leadership understand how employees feel.
The use of engagement surveys, pulse surveys, and one-on-one approaches will allow the company to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of employee engagement.
A strong foundation for any company lies inside the objectives and values of that organization. From the company’s founder to the executive level, every single employee needs to be recognized, respected, and valued.
Having the employees feel that they are part of a team and that their involvement at the work is necessary, is a crucial element in achieving a higher degree of engagement.
By communicating with your employees and hearing their questions and concerns, engaging them in social settings, and mentoring them to give their best efforts, you will help to raise the level of engagement of your workforce.
When the company is able to mirror the best efforts and reliability of its employees, it resonates as a successful business model in which everyone is productive, passionate, and engaged.