Employee engagement is becoming the latest strategy being adopted by companies to retain talent and use it to drive their growth. But why should a company prioritize human resources so much? Well, it’s because employee engagement helps a business to:
- Boost productivity
- Increase customer satisfaction
- Enhance company culture
Most employees spend more time at work than they do at home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Americans often work over 8 hours each day, exceeding the weekly working hours. Considering that, it’s important that there’s positive employee engagement if the organisation is to remain forward-moving.
But what exactly is employee engagement? How does it work? Let’s take a look.
What is Employee Engagement
Employee engagement refers to the process of motivating employees using inclusive measures and participative management style. Simply speaking, it’s the process using which employers can make employees feel part of the family and keep them continuously engaged and motivated. This entire process is more complicated than it actually sounds.
The thing is different employees want different things. Some look for monetary benefits, some looks for benefits, while others look for a value-system, a cause to feel part of. As a result, no one method works for all but the priority setting differentiates from person to person.
It’s the management’s job to understand what their team is looking for and how to keep them engaged on a continuous basis. This is usually done by means of a firm-wide survey, generally an online questionnaire survey. The survey reveals key points that are important to the employees and that can be addressed. Based on this information, policy and action-plan are prepared. According to a recent study conducted by Martitz Holdings Inc., currently, more than 78% of organisations worldwide, have a written employee engagement policy.
The policies and practices need to be implemented in a top-down approach. When the values are driven by those at the very top through practice and preaching, it results in better implementation and adoption. As a result, it’s important that the entire organisation, including the management, buy into this philosophy.
Then again, those who are sceptical might ask whether such policies do actually work? Dale Carnegie’s workplace studies show that organisations with engaged employees outperform those without engaged employees by up to an astounding 202%.
Why Is Employee Engagement Important
An engaged employee is one who is in tune with the organisation’s objectives and works better, remains more satisfied and is likely to contribute to a better workplace. Here are some of the ways in which employees become a source of the power of the organisation:
Increase In Bottomline
Employees are the main power source for any organisation. In this day and age, we understand that employees form a focal point for organisations, quite contrary to more conservative beliefs. A motivated and engaged employee is more likely to be qualitatively and quantitatively better. He/she can do more and in a more efficient way than someone who is not motivated. Billable hours or better deliverables translate into better client relationships and ultimately an increase in the bottom line.
Employee Engagement Increases Commitment
Commitment and dedication do not necessarily mean staying back in the office to work longer hours. In fact, if employees are staying back regularly, more likely than not, they are inefficient. But an engaged employee contributes in more ways than one. They are in-tune with the organisation’s objectives and values. In essence, they believe and have faith in the management and the company. As a result, they often pitch in over and beyond their call of duty.
When the majority of a company’s workforce behave in an engaging manner, it makes the company an unstoppable force. Think of how Google, Apple, Amazon are continuously among the most philanthropic, most innovative and the most engaged workplaces around the world. It all ties together.
How to Keep Your Employees Engaged
As we mentioned earlier, engagement policies will vary from organisation to organisation. It will depend on the values and principles of the organisation and the temperament of the employees. However, there are some methods which are common to most places in the world. Here’s a few of them:
#1: Better Monetary Benefits
One of the most common issues that employees tend to have is monetary benefits. With increasing consumerism tendencies across the nation, employees look for a better standard of living. That is possible only with the help of better monetary benefits. However, this is only part of the solution and not the solution itself.
#2: More Responsibility
The ideal working conditions for a person in today’s age include space to grow and innovate. Micro-management is not ideal for such conditions. However, responsibility can only be provided once there is a process of guided development. Employees tend to feel disengaged when they are totally left to their own. They need a process to integrate them into the system, train them, and then allow them space for their own development.
#3: Creating A Holistic Development Environment
When we talk about development, it has been in a non-linear sense. In most cases, the approach to solving a problem is linear. Unfortunately, human beings don’t work like machines and as a result, the approach fails. It’s the same thing with employee engagement. When an employee spends 53-54 hours per week in the office, they tend to look for more than just a place to work and earn a living.
Their constant commitment requires continuous effort from the organisation to create an environment for holistic development. The organisation should look to help employees develop their personal, professional as well as other spheres of their lives. Only an integrated plan can justify the effort and time commitment that employees put in.
In order to measure how well the current policy is performing, the management needs to organise an online questionnaire survey to gauge the pulse. The best tool to do so is the NPS survey software. NPS refers to Net Promoter Score which looks to quantify customer loyalty and customer sentiment. But the same can also be used for employees.
By creating an integrated and multi-linear plan, the management can hope to create a balanced and holistic plan that looks to engage the employee from different aspects. Since a person’s life has different facets to it, it becomes the company’s responsibility to address each and every one of them to ensure a happy and motivated workforce.