Employee Engagement – It’s Not Rocket Science
When you take a close look at employee engagement and what drives a positive work experience, it’s not rocket science. In fact, the reasons employees are emotionally committed to their work and their organization are pretty much based on common sense. So why don’t more companies succeed at engaging their workers to a level where they put forth that extra discretionary effort and intend to stay for the long haul?
There are three possible explanations that we see most often:
- Lack of Relevance. Some companies don’t think employee engagement is important enough compared to other priorities on their plate. While there certainly may be bigger fish to fry depending upon the circumstances, we find most companies greatly underestimate engagement’s upside…that the higher the employee engagement levels, the higher the business and people performance.
- Lack of Knowledge. Some companies do not know how to design and administer employee engagement surveys This is a pretty weak excuse as validated surveys can be run in weeks for reasonable prices from reputable firms.
- Lack of Follow-Through. This is a legitimate fear. You should not ask for employee feedback unless you are prepared and equipped to do something about it. The good news is that most employee engagement survey tools identify the top few engagement drivers and actions that should have the greatest impact on discretionary effort, advocacy levels and intent to stay. If your ability to attract, develop, engage and retain employees is important to your success, you should invest the time to find out what matters most and do something about it – on a regular basis.
Why Employee Engagement Matters
Engagement should matter. We know from our clients and from our Best Places to Work research that engaged workforces outperform their peers in terms of profitability, earnings per share, customer satisfaction and retention. Leaders need to acknowledge and act upon the now proven fact that successful employee engagement efforts can have a significantly positive impact on their company’s bottom line.
How Employee Engagement Works
Think about any project you have worked on with enthusiasm and long-term satisfaction…whether at home or at work. There are some elements of this positive experience that are always present: you agreed with and committed to the purpose; you identified with others involved in a similar effort; you felt pleased and energized when working on the project; and, when it was completed, you felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment.
These same factors are what make up a positive experience in the company workplace. And when all factors are present, employees are ready to go above and beyond what is asked of them. This is when a company fires on all cylinders.
Ways to Increase Employee Engagement
When leaders are committed to increasing employee engagement, they need to drive the human workplace practices that create the positive employee experience. Here, based upon employee engagement training feedback, is what is needed:
Engaged employees trust their leaders to consistently act responsibly and with integrity. And they expect their co-workers to be held accountable to do the same.
- Supportive Relationships
Being able to rely upon your co-workers is an important factor in engagement. Open, collaborative teams encourage positive, cooperative relationships.
- Feeling Valued
Workers like to be recognized for their efforts and valued for their ideas and suggestions. The more they are appreciated and empowered to decide how best to do their job, the better they feel as employees.
- Meaningful work
When employees believe that their jobs contribute meaningfully to the organization’s purpose and that they have opportunities to develop and grow, they are ready and willing to do what it takes to succeed.
A committed focus on improving employee engagement is worth it. When engagement is high, employees look forward to coming to work, doing their part, helping their team and fulfilling the vision of the organization.
To learn more, download The Top 10 Most Powerful Ways to Boost Employee Engagement.