Your employees are your most important asset. They are the driving force behind delivering the amazing products and services you create. When they stay at your company long term, they help you build the consistency that allows you to thrive and the experience necessary to stand out as an industry leader.
But these benefits only exist when your employees are truly engaged. Otherwise, they are simply going through the motions and most likely not maximizing their potential. In addition, employees who aren’t engaged are more likely to explore other opportunities, forcing you to grapple with the challenges associated with high turnover. For these reasons, it’s critical to implement effective employee engagement strategies that will unlock the very best your team has to offer and elevate the overall success of your company.
Employee engagement occurs when your team members are truly invested in their day-to-day work as well as in the overall success of your company. When they are engaged, your employees develop a positive emotional connection with your company derive a greater sense of purpose from their role. They will also be more likely to give their best effort all the time and go the extra mile to support their coworkers and serve your customers.
When your business experiences high levels of employee engagement, you can achieve amazing results that improve your profitability and elevate your overall success. A Gallup study found that businesses with high levels of employee engagement experienced:
In addition to the results listed above, another Gallup study comparing companies ranking in the top 25% and bottom 25% in employee engagement found that businesses in the top 25% experienced:
Conversely, poor employee engagement can be devastating to your business, causing your profitability and productivity to tank, and significantly increasing turnover. In fact, studies have found that businesses lose up to $550 billion each year due to poor employee engagement.
Gallup’s most recent Sate of the Global Workforce Report indicates that only 21% of employees feel engaged at work. The main takeaway from this statistic is that most businesses would benefit from implementing an employee engagement strategy to ensure their team is more actively engaged.
An employee engagement strategy is plan detailing the company-wide initiatives that will be implemented to create a greater sense of purpose among your team and help keep them motivated to make a difference in their role day in and day out. Your strategy should document the following items:
Work environments have changed dramatically over the past few years. The new remote work culture brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has created a shift in the way businesses must address employee engagement. Strategies that may have been effective when your entire team was together in the office every day may not be ideally suited to a remote or hybrid work model. Therefore, it’s important for businesses to revisit their employee engagement strategy periodically to ensure it is effectively addressing the challenges experienced in your current work environment.
Keep in mind that an effective employee engagement strategy is a holistic, long-term approach to building an environment that consistently keeps your team invested in their work and in your company. Focusing on just one or two of these tactics will only provide a small piece to the puzzle. For your strategy to be effective, it requires a more comprehensive approach that leverages a variety of the initiatives listed below.
Since this is a long-term approach to employee engagement, you don’t need to implement everything at once. Start with a few of these tactics that you feel would have the greatest impact on your team. Then you can gradually implement others over time to continue elevating the engagement of your team.
In order to implement an effective strategy, you must first assess your current employee engagement levels to determine opportunities for improvement. The best way to do this is to create an employee engagement survey for your team to fill out. When constructing your survey, keep the following two points in mind:
When you review the results, pay attention to differences in engagement levels between departments as well as the overall engagement level of your entire team. This will help you determine whether certain teams are less engaged than others, which may be a sign that those specific managers need additional training in order to achieve better engagement among their team members.
Not sure what to ask in your survey? We recommend using this resource to generate quality questions that will help you to better understand the current employee engagement levels at your company.
There’s a strong correlation between a positive company culture and high levels of employee engagement. This should come as no surprise. Having a company culture that prioritizes addressing the needs of your employees, providing them with the tools for success, fostering a sense of teamwork, and maintaining open and honest communication will help your team members feel more invested, valued and engaged.
The strongest company cultures are built around a set of core values that define your company’s beliefs, priorities and actions. These values must be clearly communicated to your employees from the moment they are hired and reinforced consistently over time. When your employees feel that your company’s values align with their own personal values, they are more likely to remain engaged in their work and dedicated to the overall success of your organization.
Keep in mind that for your values to drive your culture, they must be authentic and they must be modeled from the top down. In other words, your management team must live these values each and every day in order for the rest of your team to buy in and live these values.
When your employees have a greater level of autonomy in their daily job responsibilities, they will take more ownership for their work and derive greater levels of satisfaction from the results they generate. This is critical for maintaining employee engagement.
Your managers can give their team members greater autonomy by:
Your team will be much more invested in accomplishing goals that they had a role in establishing than goals that are dictated to them.
Your employees can’t be fully invested in the success of your company if they don’t understand the overarching goals trying to be achieved. It’s always harder to remain engaged with something you don’t truly understand. The more you’re transparent about the decisions, policies and goals of your organization, the more you’re likely to create better employee engagement and alignment with these items.
Employees desire meaning in their work more than you may realize. A Harvard Business Review study found that 90% of people would take less money to have greater meaning at work, and the average employee would accept a 23% reduction in salary in order to have a job that was truly meaningful to them.
Your management team should help your employees to understand how the work they do creates greater impact in the lives of others. Simply demonstrating the ways this work benefits your business isn’t enough to help your employees feel their job is truly meaningful. When you have a team that sees the meaning behind their work, you will have a significantly more engaged team.
In order for your employees to thrive, they need to be in an environment that enhances their overall wellbeing. This should be a high priority for every business owner since it will reduce stress and improve an employee’s overall engagement and performance. Every decision you make should be assessed at least in part on how it will impact the wellbeing of your employees.
There are two essential components to creating an environment that prioritizes employee wellbeing:
While it’s important for your employees to make their job a priority in their lives, it’s not their only priority. In fact, there are times when their job will take a back seat to family matters or other things going on in their personal life. This should be encouraged, as it will help reduce stress and burnout which can cause employees to become less engaged. You can provide an environment that promotes work-life balance in a variety of ways:
Mental health is an equally essential component to prioritizing the wellbeing of your employees. The challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly impacted the mental health of many individuals, and while we’re finally moving on from the pandemic, many people are still coping with the aftermath of these mental health issues. Make sure you provide your team with the resources necessary to get the mental health services they need.
When your employees are truly engaged in their work, they’re able to spend the majority of their time in a “flow state.” Individuals are more likely to enter into this flow state when they’re performing tasks that leverage their inherent strengths. This will increase your employees’ enjoyment of their work, allowing them to remain consistently engaged over time.
Make sure your managers are making an effort to understand the core strengths of all team members they work with. In addition, your managers should know what responsibilities each employee enjoys most. This information should be used to develop creative approaches for ensuring each employee is able to spend as much of their work time as possible on tasks that align with their strengths and preferences.
Creating an employee engagement strategy that incorporates these initiatives can be challenging and take a tremendous commitment from your management team. Often, it’s easier to successfully implement your strategy with the assistance of a third-party HR consultant. At PassioHR, we have you covered.
Our exclusive Elevated Engagement Plus™ Approach provides you with recommendations that are customized to address the specific needs of your business. We’ll invest a great deal of time working with your management team to learn about your unique company culture and workforce dynamic. Based on these factors, we’ll collaborate with you to design an employee engagement strategy that will help you retain your top talent and improve the overall success of your business.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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