Query: How can I enhance employee engagement in my company?
Answer: Employee engagement is a method used by employers to help retain staff. Employee engagement is more important than ever as employment levels are on the rise and employees have far more opportunities on the horizon than were available to them in recent years.
Most employers hope to retain staff who they have invested time and resources in and they hope to hold onto the employees who have become ‘experts in their business’ as the economy and business improves. With this in mind, employers must learn how to engage employees and update themselves on how to retain today’s workforce.
Whereas in the past money was considered the main factor in retaining employees – nowadays employees are looking for more than that. Today’s employee wants to feel like a part of the bigger picture and to be valued by the company they work for. They also want to be given the opportunity to develop within the business and to increase their knowledge and skills.
When employees are not engaged in these ways, job satisfaction and productivity can be negatively affected which in turn can have a negative effect on overall business performance.
However, it is possible to reverse this problem if management adopts a more ‘organic’ and open method of dealing with staff. Encouraging and enabling the development of employee engagement can have an incredibly beneficial impact on organisations.
In organisations where employee engagement is evident, there is a positive connection between employees and their organisation. This connection leads to improved performance, productivity, staff retention, customer service and loyalty.
Research has frequently validated the links between how employees are managed, employee attitudes and business performance showing that when employers deliver on their commitments, they reinforce employees’ sense of fairness and trust in the organisation.
This, in turn, can strengthen the relationship between employer and employee.
Employers must realise that employees are a company’s greatest asset. Their creativity, ideas and enthusiasm can be invaluable for your business. Considering this and to further engage employees, managers should approach each employee as someone that can offer a valuable and unique contribution to the company.
When a workforce feels engaged they will be encouraged to go the extra mile to achieve individual and company success; become more innovative in the workplace; attract more customers and high-standard employees; become ambassadors of the company, its product, processes and its people; infuse energy and positivity at work – which will have a knock-on effect on other staff. To engage employees:
Ensure that employees have everything they need to do their jobs. Just as marketplace and customer needs change often, so do employees’ needs;
Managers should clearly communicate what is expected of employees – what the company values and vision are, and how the company defines success;
Get to know your employees – what are their goals and fears. How do they define success and what direction do they see the business going in. Managers should show an interest in employee’s well-being, meet and talk to them on a regular basis and establish what makes them feel fulfilled in their role;
It is important that managers know how to manage and engage their staff. Managers should receive regular training in various people management skills training such as performance management and talent development. These skills will teach management how to interact with their employees effectively;
On an annual basis a development plan can be put in place for each employee. This will outline objectives for the employee and the supports available to the employee to achieve these goals. These goals and objectives will be created and agreed by the manager and the employee together.
Caroline McEnery, Managing Director of The HR Suite is also author of ‘The Art of Asking the Right Questions’ a manager’s toolkit on all HR-related tips to proactively manage your team’