Businesses invariably owe it to their employees. Whether it is creating a brand value that inspires respect, boosting revenue-the holy grail of businesses, beneath the success stories is the unrelenting zeal of enthusiasts, organically attached to its vision.
They are said to be “actively engaged” with the company’s mission and fit into its larger narrative.
But the startling truth is- a large section of employees, do not feel the same level of commitment!
This disengagement costs dearly. Much like a battery of soldiers which can bring victories but end up being a drag. It is all-pervasive.
According to Gallup’s 2017 State of the Global Workplace, only 15 percent of employees are engaged in the workplace. This seems incredible, with offices brimming with seemingly tireless employees, all the brouhaha, day in day out. Employee engagement is an unmissable imperative. Survey shows, a company with a highly engaged workforce are 21% more profitable.
Employee engagement is simply the commitment the employee displays towards the organizational overall vision and which runs deep on the emotional level.
This concept which has been around for a substantial time now, has gained salience over time. An employee engagement survey is not an alien concept even to fledgling organizations. Gallup and some 30 companies put this concept in place. The trajectory goes like this. Engaged employees lead to a higher level of services, translating into increased sales, handsome profit, ultimately higher shareholder returns and brand value appreciation.
Now that the direct linkages between engagement and goals, both immediate and long term, have been evidently established, the key question is how to increase and improve it? Areas an organization should delve into to create a constituency of engaged employees?
According to the employee engagement strategists at Domus – an agency in Philadelphia specializing in Employee Communications & Public Relations, it is worthwhile to keep these employee engagement essentials and strategies in mind:
- Recognition of efforts: Unrecognized, unappreciated employees, overtime realize they are doing a thankless job, and sooner and later leave or show no inspirational commitment.
It should not be misconstrued with pays and perks. It goes beyond that.
Employees work for motivation other than these.
To show an employee that his efforts are recognized, appreciated and indispensable towards organizational needs can go a long way in winning hearts. They identify with the collective value, mission and purpose.
Think appreciation, acknowledgment, thanks or other forms as slow working fertilizer, but a complete absent lead to invisibility, breeds disengagement. It shows up as absenteeism and turnover.
- Operational flexibility: With technology integrated into our lives, making communication seamless, a strict 9 to 5 working hour in the office environs is suffocating to most.
If deliverables are being met, objectives ticked, employees feel the need to have the liberty to carry it out from anywhere.
The watchful, over the shoulder attitude needs shunning. It would enable productivity, boosting of emotional well being and enhanced level of engagement.
- Open lines of communication: Organizational structures have become flatter these days. With millennials entering the workforce in larger numbers, their enthusiasm, as well as concerns, need to be heard. Two-way communication that facilitates one to be heard, ideas are more often given place in the discourse drives engagement.
Apart from the traditional ways like emails, internal intranet talks, it would be exciting to connect to an employee, no matter where they are! Remote employees, a mobile workforce, can be engaged to a greater level via this way. Podcast, gamification, webcast, text messages, digital signage is necessary. Gone are the days of unilateral, one-way flow, the role of communication in employee engagement has become significant.
- Choose your managers carefully: Managers being at the helm of affairs, chalking out roadmaps, or deciding growth, undeniably have a key role to play.
The old dictum that “people leave managers, not organizations” still holds much water.
These bunch of select individuals has a lot of bearing on organizational handling.
A manager with empathy, interested in overall well being, adopting healthy criticism, inspiring employees to give more by leading through examples, establish an instant connect and end up extracting efficiently.
- Act upon employee engagement survey: It is not a yearly, perfunctory exercise for the sake of it. Organizations that carry out the exercise, seek inputs, evaluate individuals and going beyond, converting them into actionable tend to instill trust in employees, lead the way and cultivate an employee-centric image.
This engages employees, fosters democratization and connects deeply.
Employees are “human capital”. Organizations keeping in mind this gospel truth stand to prosper. An engaged employee is an empowered employee. Now that you understand the importance of engaging your employees, put in place a robust employee engagement structure to spike the growth curve.